MOVIES

Aquaman 2 Confirms Whether Willem Dafoe’s Vulko Is Dead

Several months before “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” came out, director James Wan confirmed Willem Dafoe wouldn’t be in the movie. Instead of recasting the part of Vulko, the creative team merely decided to write him out. The cause of Dafoe’s exclusion is an old standby in Hollywood — scheduling conflicts. 

It makes sense when looking at Dafoe’s filmography that he’d be too busy for “Aquaman 2.” In 2023 alone, the actor appeared in “Inside,” “Asteroid City,” “Poor Things,” “Finally Dawn,” “Pet Shop Days,” and “Gonzo Girl.” He even had a voiceover role in Studio Ghibli’s “The Boy and the Heron.” Dafoe is an actor who likes to keep busy, maneuvering between high-profile fare and more independent projects. Given the hectic filming schedule of “Aquaman 2,” which included three rounds of reshoots in one year, it’s understandable why Dafoe would bow out of appearing in the final DCEU movie. 

Instead, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) takes on much of the role of a mentor toward her son, Arthur. It would be a bit redundant to have two mentors for the same guy in a movie, so his presence likely isn’t missed too much. And Dafoe may be thankful he chose the likes of “Poor Things” and “Asteroid City” over “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” as it currently holds a negative score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

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