Although we’d love to see Willem Dafoe swimming through the ocean again in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” Vulko’s exclusion from the sequel isn’t that surprising. In addition to shooting during COVID, which brought its own scheduling issues, the DC movie went through numerous rounds of reshoots, likely making it a scheduling nightmare for its star-studded cast, especially for someone as in demand as Dafoe.
Thankfully, Dafoe stays busy, so while the Academy Award nominee won’t appear in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” fans won’t have to look too far to see the talented actor on screen. In 2023 alone, Dafoe stars in six movies, including “Inside” and “Asteroid City,” and his most anticipated project, “Poor Things,” will be released in early December, just a few weeks before the “Aquaman” sequel. The Frankenstein-like movie features Dafoe as Dr. Godwin Baxter and has already received immense critical acclaim after its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
Unfortunately, with his absence in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” all signs point toward Dafoe leaving the superhero world behind. The sequel brings an end to the DCEU’s tumultuous lifespan, and it doesn’t seem very likely that Vulko will have a presence in the new DC Universe moving forward. On top of that, barring any unforeseen multiversal shenanigans, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” seemed to wrap up his villainous stint as the Green Goblin, making a return unlikely. And let’s be honest — Dafoe is at his best in the strangest roles, so who knows what character he’ll find himself in with this newfound freedom.