The nefarious sea creatures The Trench last seen doing battle with Aquaman in the $1 billion blockbuster are getting their own movie. James Wan is set to produce a horror-infused spin-off for Warner Bros that will offer a deeper exploration of the nightmarish creatures.
The Trench was introduced into the Aquaman world only a few years ago in 2011; The Trench both the name given to the species and the deepwater place they dwell. Once they called Atlantis home, but generations after they were cast into the Marianas Trench, they adapted to live in their new harsh environment. The sequence in Aquaman where we are first introduced to The Trench was loaded with horror potential, and given James Wan's years of experience in the genre, the breathless sequence has Wan's horror fingerprints all over it in the best possible way.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the majority of the film will be set in The Trench's submerged kingdom, but I think a shipping vessel of some kind will encounter the creatures and be in for a terrifying battle for survival at sea. Taking a lesser known antagonist and spinning it off into a genre that suits them perfectly is a neat idea. A lower budget limits the risk to the studio, and horror movies are never going out of fashion. Smaller projects set within the wider world of DC can be just as enticing to audiences as the big tentpole releases. Not every DC or Marvel movie needs to offer world-ending stakes for our heroes to thwart.
Since Justice League crashed and burned, Warner Bros' Worlds of DC is becoming a much more interesting place. Less bothered by making a shared universe for all their characters to exist, the new approach is more focused on making better standalone movies, and it's working. The Trench won't feature any DC superheroes, and it will have a budget more in line with Wan's Conjuring films ($20-30 million). Warner Bros has already hired newcomers Noah Gardner & Aidan Fitzgerald to start writing the script, so this could be on the fast track to production.