‘Aquaman’ spin-off ‘The Trench’ in development at Warner Bros.

The Trench in Aquaman

The DC Extended Universe just lost its Batman, but it gained a new star in December. Aquaman, which starred Jason Momoa in the title role, rode the waves of hype to a $1 billion take at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing film based on a DC Comics property in movie history.

While director James Wan decides whether or not he’ll return to guide Aquaman‘s inevitable sequel, Warner Bros. and DC decided to keep the momentum flowing with a spin-off. The upcoming feature film is called The Trench, and will be a “horror-tinged” take on Aquaman’s bright and colorful submarine world, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Newcomers Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald will write The Trench‘s script. Wan and Peter Safran will serve as producers. The main Aquaman cast is not expected to appear.

Viewers caught a glimpse of the Trench, one of Atlantis’ many clans, in Aquaman when hero Arthur Curry and his bride-to-be Mera are attacked by the Trench’s soldiers en route to an underwater wormhole. The Trench will play up the tribe’s monstrous side, although the spin-off won’t be as lavish as its source material: The Hollywood Reporter claims that The Trench will have a significantly smaller budget than previous DC films.

While Aquaman debuted in 1941’s More Fun Comics #73 in a story written by Mort Weisinger and drawn by Paul Norris, the Trench is a much more recent addition to DC’s canon. The Trench made their grand debut in 2011’s Aquaman #1, which was launched as part of DC’s line-wide “The New 52” reboot. In its first appearance, the Trench attacked a small village and ate its inhabitants before going on to plague Aquaman and, later, the Justice League.

Those stories were written by Geoff Johns, a prolific comic book scribe who also served as DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer from 2010 through 2018, and as its president from 2016 until his departure. While Johns and his production company, Mad Ghost Productions, still work on DC-related projects, it’s not clear if he’ll be contributing to The Trench in any way.

The Trench isn’t the only big DC spin-off in production. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is set to make the move from Suicide Squad to the Birds of Prey in 2020, while A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay is currently developing a film based on DC’s New Gods. Remember the demons who attacked Superman and friends in Justice League? Yeah, those guys.

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