Now that the silence has been broken surrounding Jason Momoa’s role as Aquaman in DC Comics’ upcoming shared movie universe – launching with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – the actor, too, has broken his own silence, after being forced to dodge a confirmation for months. With promising words on just how much the role means to him personally, what kind of vision director Zack Snyder has in mind, and an apparent confirmation that fans won’t need to wait until Justice League to see him, his first comments may even turn a few skeptics.
We’ve already explained why an Aquaman played by a native Hawaiian would be an idea worth exploring in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and speaking at Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, GA, fans got their first opportunity to ask the man himself. Unsurprisingly, Momoa told those in attendance that his ancestry (half Hawaiian, half Native American) is, indeed, on his mind.
A full transcript or video hasn’t surfaced yet, but a few details have surfaced. Beyond teasing that the classic green tights worn by Aquaman would “match his eyes,” Momoa offered even more context for the previous claims of a “tattooed, Hawaiian” Arthur Curry.
Without further details on exactly how strictly Snyder’s upcoming take on Aquaman will stick to South Pacific/Polynesian culture, it’s impossible to know if Momoa’s personal beliefs will directly inform his character, or simply provide a subjective motivation. There is plenty of existing comic mythology ripe for a blockbuster epic, but with a (presumably) main role in Justice League and a solo movie in 2018 (for which not one, but two scripts are being written), Snyder and others will have ample time to decide what stays and what goes.
But as a writer, director, and producer himself (on the indie Road to Paloma having recently made its rounds on the film festival circuit), it seems Momoa was more than sold on Zack Snyder’s vision of a truly “badass” Aquaman:
While we would advise holding off until an exact wording arrives, it sounds as though Momoa has confirmed an appearance in Batman V Superman. With Justice League announced for 2017, it was assumed (and has since been reported be other insiders) that Snyder and the cast will remain in Detroit following Dawn of Justice shooting, and set to work on the first part of the Justice League team-up immediately after. And that seemed to suggest that the likes of Aquaman or Cyborg could be spotted in or around Detroit, without necessarily appearing in the Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman movie.
But if Momoa has confirmed that he will appear in the film, then the question becomes just when and how. An epilogue teasing the rest of the team preparing to emerge, or an implied role during the film’s water-based action sequences? His inclusion is sure to trouble those who feel that Snyder already has his hands full with his three DC Comics icons, but for now it’s all speculation. And Momoa isn’t the only cast member singing Snyder’s praises.
The promise of a grittier, more dangerous take on Aquaman made simply through Momoa’s casting is, at the very least, intriguing. Lest we forget, the hero isn’t as often defined by his unwillingness to kill as his colleagues. So when an image of Momoa holding a copy of “Aquaman” Vol. 5 #0 (1994) – an issue in which the title character dons a harpoon in place of his left hand – appeared online, many jumped to the conclusion that the story or weapon could be adopted for film.
Although that’s possible, it’s a safe bet that Momoa will be asked to sign plenty of different issues and incarnations of the character over the coming years. It’s also worth a reminder that Aquaman’s shift from clean-cut good looks to bearded, armored, and bearing a spear for a hand was just one of the ways both DC and Marvel Comics sought to make their heroes more ‘mature’ during the 1990s.
That trend ended for a reason, and while Momoa may fit the bill given his size, appearance, and previous roles, we would hope that it’s not the basis for his casting. Only time will tell, but if Momoa is making up for all those months of keeping tight-lipped, more details may arrive soon.
What do you think of his comments? Would you hope to see a rough, lethal Aquaman give Superman and Batman a run for their money, or do you have hopes that the religion and culture alluded to is the real goal for a big screen Aquaman?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on May 6, 2016. Aquaman is scheduled for release on July 27, 2018.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on Aquaman as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.