For most likely scenario for the standalone film, especially given Ocean Master’s casting alongside Vulko (to be played by Willem Dafoe in Justice League), fans need only look to the New 52 relaunch of Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman. Penned by now-DC Films boss Geoff Johns, the series began as a concerted effort to turn Aquaman – often a pop culture punchline – into one of the most respectable, fearsome heroes in the DC Universe. It worked (and then some), with Johns pitting Arthur against his half-brother Orm in an all-out war with the surface world and Justice League.
The story called upon the same key players now in place in the DCEU – Aquaman, Mera, Vulko, and Ocean Master – so the potential is present for James Wan to craft a “swashbuckling adventure” on a blockbuster scale – and maybe even pull a Justice League member or two in for a cameo, should the story stay true to the comics. But those assuming that Wilson’s villain will be portrayed as “evil” should probably pause. Not only would a purely evil villain be a break from the DCEU tradition so far, but conflicts between Atlantis and the surface world have just as often been manipulated or sparked by outside influences. Considering the larger forces at work in the Justice League universe and… well, Ocean Master may have his reasons to attack in order to protect the kingdom left to him by his half-brother.
For Wilson, it lands him a supervillain role in a shared comic book universe, having previously signed on for a similar part in Marvel’s Ant-Man – ultimately departing the project alongside director Edgar Wright. He’s no stranger to the DCEU’s creative leads, either. Aside from a long history with James Wan, Wilson also starred in Zack Snyder’s graphic novel adaptation Watchmen – a role and film that was, like Snyder’s DC films, criticized at the time (we suppose this also means he comes off our list of potential actors for the new Green Lantern. Damn).