Nobody’s laughing at Aquaman anymore.
After some of DC’s most popular heroes team up in Justice League, Warner Bros. plans to spotlight one of the oldest and most underrated members of its lineup. Aquaman finally gets his shot at a solo film in 2018 with Jason Momoa starring as Arthur Curry. Fans hope his burly appearance will revitalize the reputation of a character who had until recently become something of a joke. The film won’t be released for a while, but we’re already learning more about what we can expect when the Aquaman movie hits the big screen.
Aquaman comics have never been adapted into a major film since publication began in 1941, so there’s a lot of stories to choose from.
According to Digital Spy, a synopsis leaked in February contained the following details:
Aquaman will centre [sic] on Aquaman as a reluctant ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis who is caught between land dwellers that are always polluting the globe and his own people who are ready to invade the surface.
While this synopsis is neither official or confirmed, it does sound believable given the character’s backstory.
Arthur Curry is set to make his DCEU debut in Justice League this November, a role that will likely serve as an introduction to those unfamiliar with the character. If Batman v Superman’s treatment of Wonder Woman is any indication, the plot of Justice League won’t venture too deep, saving a lot to be explored in Aquaman’s stand-alone film the next year.
Questions still remain about what time period will serve as Aquaman’s setting. Will it tell the story of a land-dwelling Curry discovering his regal lineage and aquatic powers? Or will he be introduced as a new king with the burden of ruling a world he’s still learning to understand?
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Momoa made a big splash when he appeared as a surprisingly charming barbarian named Khal Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones, though he’d been working long before that. Fans quickly gravitated to the native Hawaiian for both his charm and good looks. It also didn’t hurt that he spent a lot of time shirtless. Warner Bros. producers tapped Momoa back in 2014 to bring the world a refreshed, badass-looking Arthur Curry.
Momoa’s castmates include Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as villain Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, and Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, aka the Ocean Master.
Amber Heard has been training hard to prepare for her role as Aquaman’s wife, Mera. If her workout routine is any indication, she has no plans to sit on the sidelines when the fighting begins.
For those not familiar with the comics, Arthur Curry’s Atlantean mother, Atlanna, conceived him with land-dwelling human Thomas Curry. It’s believed that Atlanna told Thomas of her aquatic abilities after giving birth to their son. She then drifted off into the sea to never be seen again (sort of). Any comic that’s been around as long as Aquaman is bound to have a twisting and often contradictory timeline.
When Arthur grows up and eventually finds his way to Atlantis, he deals with the kinds of conflicts you’d expect for the “rightful heir” to the kingdom. He falls in love with an Atlantean woman (Mera) and makes an enemy out of his pureblood half-brother, Orm Marius.
Dafoe has fans especially excited for his role as Nuidis Vulko, an advisor to Arthur Curry as he takes on the challenge of being king. Dafoe has reportedly just joined the cast in Australia to begin filming.
Ahead of Aquaman, Dafoe and Heard made their debut in Justice League.
In a photo from the Aquaman set, James Wan revealed that Fresh of the Boat actor Randall Park will play Dr. Shin, a friend of Aquaman’s human father. It looks like this character may have been added during reshoots.
Aquaman just started filming at the beginning of May. Our closest glimpse at the character so far is from Justice League footage, which shows Momoa gracefully swimming through underwater palace chambers.
Perhaps realizing that—thanks largely to Momoa—Aquaman has a higher excitement factor than many other DC characters, Warner Bros. pushed out a featurette focused on the underwater prince. The video seems aimed at prepping fans for Justice League, but it’ll also likely build hype for Aquaman’s standalone venture.
There’s not much else out there, so we’ll just have to keep looping this sweet GIF of Aquaman getting swallowed by waves.
Or, if you’re not into that, watch him jump onto the Batmobile and send his trident flying at some monsters in the latest Justice League trailer.
There are about as many rumors about Aquaman as there are confirmed facts at this point. The most important so far is that Aquaman is going to have so many villains. Black Manta, Ocean Master, and King Nereus are all confirmed, but ComicBookMovie reports the Trench (an antagonistic underwater race) could also appear. That would provide Aquaman with plenty of the alien-like sea dwellers to use as cannon fodder as he puts his super strength and bulletproof skin on display.
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Sadly, one popular rumor has already been debunked. Fans had speculated this would be a great opportunity to introduce Kaldur’ahm—especially considering that he’s Black Manta’s son. Director James Wan (Saw, Furious 7), however, took to Twitter to clarify that it’s not happening. If the first Aquaman proves to be successful, fans can still hope for a Kaldur’ahm appearance in a potential sequel.
Aquaman release date
Aquaman is scheduled to premiere Dec. 21, 2018.
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