While we’ve seen the character appear twice in the DCEU – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League – fans have been waiting patiently for our first look at the upcoming solo film Aquaman.
UPDATE (7/21/18) – Check Out the First Aquaman Trailer!
The moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here. At the Warner Bros. panel James Wan and Jason Momoa – along with the cast of Aquaman – debuted the first trailer to the crowd at SDCC. It was then released online almost immediately after, which you can check out below:
Jason Momoa walked out to a Loki-worthy greeting this year, as water splashed around him on screen.
— Peter Sciretta @SDCC (@slashfilm) July 21, 2018
There was no surprise that fans were here for Aquaman today, and the cast all clearly feel really good about the film the made. This first trailer introduces the truly beautiful underwater world of Atlantis, and the other Kingdoms we catch quick glimpses of in the trailer as Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry reclaims his homeland.
“I wanted our film to be more unique,” James Wan revealed. “So my movie plays more like a science fiction fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie.”
The first trailer also featured our best looks yet at Patrick Wilson as Orm AKA Ocean Master and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta. We’ll have a deeper breakdown of the trailer next week.
UPDATE (7/20/18) – Jason Momoa Confirms Aquaman Trailer Release Tomorrow!
While it was pretty much assumed up to this point that we would definitely be seeing a trailer at the Warner Bros. panel in Hall H on Saturday at SDCC, Momoa shared a video on Instagram today confirming that we can expect a trailer to be released as well tomorrow. This trailer has been confirmed at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, meaning much longer than a teaser. And with Momoa sharing the news it means the trailer will release online as well and not be exclusive to con guests.
FINALLY the time has come. I’m stoked to share this news Check out something I filmed a couple weeks ago before I left Hawaii. #havingfunwithdaohana #droppinghawaiianbombsonya #westside On my way to #SDCC!! #AQUAMAN #TrailerTomorrow. #cheeeeeeeehoooooooooo #HHHawaiian. #hallHgetready #thekingiscoming. Aloha j
It’s clear he’s pretty proud of the work he’s done on the movie, which bodes well for us fans who can’t wait to see it! Stay tuned for the trailer as it drops tomorrow!
You can keep reading below for everything else we know about James Wan’s Aquaman.
The film stars Jason Momoa, who returns to the role of Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman, and is directed by James Wan. Until recently, Wan has been known best in the horror circles, having been responsible for films like Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious, and the upcoming spinoff The Nun. He ventured out into the action world with Furious 7, and was soon brought on board to the DCEU. When most of the other announced films were experiencing problems – Flash lost a few directors, The Batman changed hands and plans, and Cyborg fell off the map – Wan and Aquaman steadily moved forward, assembling a strong cast and teasing fans with the cinematic potential of the underwater city Atlantis.
Today we are going to take a look at everything we know about the film, including brand new photos released from the upcoming film that give us our best look yet at James Wan’s Aquaman.
The film began production under the working title of Ahab, as revealed on James Wan’s Twitter back in May 2017:
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 3, 2017
Wan described some of the technical challenges with filming Aquaman, considering the underwater and CG components:
“It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on. Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex. Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff.
“That just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this. So it’s not an easy shoot, but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line.”
Jason Momoa also spoke about the character prior to his appearance in Justice League as Aquaman was gearing up:
“We’ve never really seen anything from this guy before, so it’s fun to have a level playing field. There aren’t like four Aquamans before me. I get to set the tone for it.”
“The guy was never really accepted on land, and he was never really accepted in Atlantis. He’s a half-breed. But he’s the best of both worlds. He just doesn’t know how to handle his powers. So it’s kind of a coming of age for a young man to a man, or a man to a king. He’s lost a lot of things and he’s got to cope. He’s an outsider.”
Joining Momoa is Amber Heard as Mera, who made her first official appearance in Justice League. The comic version of Mera first appeared in Aquaman #11 back in 1963 and has remained a crucial part of the Aquaman mythos since her appearance alongside Arthur. Amber Heard’s Mera was one of the first new costumes we saw in Justice League, though we soon got to see her new outfit for Aquaman, giving us a taste of the Atlantean armor we would soon see on full display.
The images revealed a new look at Mera and Aquaman in casual wear, highlighting some of the above ground footage we will see as well:
Willem Dafoe also joined the cast early as Vulko, chief scientific advisor of Atlantis and one of Aquaman’s staunchest supporters. Dafoe was originally supposed to feature in Justice League with Heard, though his scenes as Vulko were ultimately cut. Vulko debuted in 1967 in The Brave and the Bold #73 before appearing in Aquaman #35. While we don’t have the best look at him yet, recent images from Entertainment Weekly do feature the character, though shot from the rear:
Longtime Wan collaborator Patrick Wilson soon signed on as Arthur’s Atlantean brother Orm AKA Ocean Master. Wilson is no stranger to superhero movies, having played Nite Owl II in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, before working with Wan in films like Insidious and The Conjuring franchise. Orm has constantly found himself at odds with Aquaman since his first appearance back in 1966’s Aquaman #29 as Ocean Master, so we can expect that same rivalry to develop on screen between Momoa and Wilson. We recently got our first look at Wilson as Orm, and what’s really interesting is the character has blond hair, which in the comics is the reason Arthur had to be exiled from Atlantis. Could thier roles for the film have been reversed, causing Orm to feel the rejection due to the superstition of Atlantis instead of Arthur?
Of course, Orm isn’t the only threat Aquaman and Co. will have to face, as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was soon cast as the mysterious Black Manta. Black Manta first appeared in Aquaman #35 (1967) and has held a vendetta against Aquaman ever since. While his origin and backstory have changed over the years, his overall threat to Aquaman and Atlantis has not. EW gave us our first look at the character, including the iconic helmet, though we aren’t sure how Black Manta fits into the story quite yet:
The last of our revealed characters is Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis, played by Nicole Kidman. Aquaman’s mother has a big role to play in the film, though her presence in the comics was missing for many years. She first appeared in Adventure Comics #260 in 1959, making her one of the oldest characters in the film. While initially, she died at a young age in the comics, more recently after a few retcons the character reappeared alive and well, meaning her role in Aquaman could be in more than just flashbacks. Especially considering her starring role on the EW cover:
The rest of the cast includes Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus AKA Mera’s father, leader of the underwater Xebel society. Temuera Morrison plays Thomas Curry, Arthur’s human father. Randall Park will play Dr. Stpehen Shin, a human scientist and expert on Atlantean culture and artifacts.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) April 12, 2018
Principal photography on the film ended in October of 2017, though there were reshoots that took place, like with most films.
Holy mackerel, you scampi serious — that’s finally a principal photography WRAP on Aquaman!! Thank You to an awesome cast & crew. pic.twitter.com/CqytboeaJJ
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) October 21, 2017
We don’t know much about the plot of the film, though rumors are that Wan would adapt “The Trench” story from the New 52 comics by Geoff Johns. This theory is supported by the horror elements fitting the director, and the fact that almost all the named characters so far played a major part in that story, but we won’t know until we see a trailer – and we can expect the first trailer to drop shortly, giving fans the long-awaited first look at the film they have been clamoring for. While Aquaman wasn’t quite the breakout character of the Justice League there is no denying that Wan’s film has become one of the most highly-anticipated entries of the DCEU.
Aquaman hits theaters on December 21, 2018.
Update (07/04/18): Aquaman Cast To Appear on Conan at Comic-Con!
Conan O’ Brien has become quite the standout at San Diego Comic-Con, where he has hosted a special edition of his show for the last four years that features some of the biggest stars of the event. This year we’ve gotten word that the cast of Aquaman will make an appearance on the show, from Entertainment Weekly:
The cast of the upcoming underwater action thriller Aquaman, which includes Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and Nicole Kidman, will serve as guests for the final show on Sunday, July 22. (Exactly which Aquaman stars will appear on that show will be announced a later date.)
They will be joining the cast of Breaking Bad during this period, who have reunited to celebrate the hit series’ 10th anniversary. You can keep reading below for more details on the upcoming Aquaman film before we see the cast hit the stage of Conan at SDCC!
UPDATE (7/13/18) – New Image Reveals Another Underwater Kingdom!
Entertainment Weekly revealed a new image from Aquaman, which reveals another underwater kingdom and some of its inhabitants. The image features our first look at the Fisherman King, played by Djimon Hounsou.
In this scene, King Orm (Patrick Wilson, not shown) has gone to the Fisherman King (played by Djimon Hounsou, that guy with the trident — and more on that in a minute) to enlist his help to declare war on the ocean-polluting surface world. There’s also the Fisherman Queen (Natalia Safran) and Princess (Sophia Forrest) on the left, and a royal guard on the right. Though you can’t tell in this shot, all of them have tails instead of legs.
“After the fall of Atlantis, some of the kingdoms evolved and some devolved,” explains producer Peter Safran. “This is one that evolved. This is a kingdom that’s primarily artistic and cerebral, with poets and philosophers.”
This first look is an interesting take on some of the other undersea inhabitants we are sure to see explored more in the upcoming film. It’s great to see not just humanoid characters in this new untouched world, and while it’s only a small taste of this world, it’s a beautiful one.
UPDATE (7/16/18) – The First Poster is here!
The road to SDCC started early this week when director James Wan dropped a new image from the upcoming Aquaman trailer we are expecting to see at Comic-Con International later this week. the image gives us a taste of the Atlantean Free Willy but actually looks pretty epic. It was a small tease of Aquaman’s ability to communicate with sea life, which was played for comedy in Aquaman’s Justice League appearance.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) July 16, 2018
Following this tease, the first poster for the film was released with the tagline “Home Is Calling,” featuring Jason Momoa as the titular DC hero, surrounded by sea life, further focusing on Arthur Curry’s unique ability.
Keep it locked to GEEK this week as we’ll be covering San Diego Comic-Con 2018, and will likely have the first trailer here for you as soon as it drops!
UPDATE (7/18/18) – New Image Reveals Epic Sea Dragon!
Yup. You read that right. Now that the embargo on Aquaman info has been lifted we’re seeing quite a few new images from the upcoming film. The latest from Entertainment Weekly reveals what appears to be concept art of a freaking Sea Dragon.
While the inspiration for these majestic creatures comes from the Super Friends animated series of the 70s – Aquaman would ride a giant seahorse underwater – these sea dragons will actually be ridden by Xebel warriors, who are another underwater kingdom. We previously saw the Xebel kingdom and these creatures teased in an earlier image from the film, with the Atlanteans showing up on sharks opposite the sea dragons.
“The idea was to turn on its head the idea of Aquaman riding a seahorse, take something for which he was mocked and turn it into something terrifying and impressive,” says producer Peter Safran. “He’s a Xebellian creature but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Arthur (Jason Momoa) on one at some point…”
Stay tuned for more from SDCC!
UPDATE (7/18/18) – Toys Reveal More of the Characters
As usually happens around this time, we get a ton of toy reveals that occasionally spoil parts of the film. Thankfully some of the upcoming figures from Aquaman just reveal more of what we’ve seen without giving away too many details. Check out the gallery below to see new looks at Ocean Master, Black Manta, Vulko, the Brine King, and more!
UPDATE (7/19/18) – Here’s a Closer Look at a Few Costumes from Aquaman!
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) July 19, 2018
UPDATE (7/19/18) – SDCC Statue Reveals Jason Momoa in the Classic Aquaman Costume!
Our first looks from the floor of this year’s SDCC have arrived, and a few statues caught our eye right away.
— DC Extended Universe (@TheDCEU) July 19, 2018
These statues not only feature our first look at a fully armored Black Manta, but also the King of Atlantis in his comic accurate costume! Will we be seeing Momoa don the Orange and green in the movie? Stay tuned to find out!
Images: Entertainment Weekly, DC Films, Warner Bros.