How do you solve a problem like Aquaman? The DC Comics character, whose career began with him battling Nazis in the 1940s, has long been the butt of superhero jokes. He looks faintly ridiculous, lugging that daft trident all over the seabed and having his powers reduced whenever he leaves the sea (check the Family Guy episode where he’s unable to prevent a serous crime because he daren’t step of out the water).
Yet there’s a big budget Aquaman movie coming next year, and – hoo boy – it’s no laughing matter. Seems as though the wet wonder is to receive the The Dark Knight treatment; he’s gonna be all serious and brooding. No easy feat for a character whose mum has been a mermaid and whose dad has been a wizard (the backstory is flexible, as we shall see). Here’s everything we know right now…
- A new, five-minute extended video that reveals Arthur Curry’s classic costume has been released (October 5)
- Director James Wan has said the film won’t contain any cameos from Justice League (August 9)
- James Wan reveals the movie will be influenced by his background in horror (August 26)
What’s the ‘Aquaman The Movie’ release date?
Put December 14, 2018 in your diary: that’s when you’re gonna get wet. Plenty of time to find some goggles, a pair of flippers and a trusty trident, so you can ensure that you watch it properly.
What’s the plot of the new Aquaman movie?
The character was given a new lease of life when the DC Rebirth comics series attempted to redeem him in 2016. Writer Dan Abnett told The Guardian that our hero is “well-known but he’s not iconic, which is appealing [from] a writer’s point of view. You can do things with him because he’s not cemented in the public’s minds.”
In 2018 Aquaman will attempt to imbue the character – aka Arthur Curry – with some gravitas. A synopsis leaked earlier in the year: “Aquaman will centre 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.”
So, the emphasis will be on the folks of Atlantis as a misunderstood minority, an issue that could be read as a metaphor for real-world events in America. This led those involved with the movie to jokingly dub it ‘The Wet Wing’, an excellent gag that perhaps indicates that the movie won’t be quite as holier-than-thou as the billing implies.
Is there an Aquaman trailer?
Yes, the first one was shared in July. Watch below:
And in October, Warner Bros. treated fans to an extended, five-minute video that reveals Arthur Curry’s classic costume.
The opening scenes give fans a preview of Momoa and his co-star Amber Heard, who are seen trekking across the Sahara to find the key to the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
The clip also teases Curry’s origin story and his parents’ star-crossed love.
And as for Curry’s costume, it looks like the designers have stuck to the original comic illustration.
Where and when was Aquaman filmed?
With a $160m budget, the movie went in production in May 2017 and wrapped up five months later on October 21. Much of the filming took place on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Nice work if you can get it!
What does the Aquaman cast look like?
Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa has sunk his trident in the lead role, while Amber Heard will portray Mera, Queen of Atlantis. Willem Dafoe has been cast as Atlantis’ chief scientific advisor Nuidis Vulko; Dolph Lungdren as Nereus, the king of the undersea nation of Xebel; Nicole Kidman as Arthur’s mother Atalanna; and Patrick Wilson as his dodgy half-brother Orm.
Who has directed Aquaman?
That would be James Wan, the noted horror film director who scared the bejeesus out of you with Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring. He explained to Entertainment Weekly: “It’s going to look very different. It will feel very different – aesthetically, tonally, story-wise – as my own take.” He added that, despite this sense of individuality, the film will be “much more a traditional action-adventure quest movie.” The prospect of the new Aquaman becomes ever more curious.
Speaking to Total Film, Wan revealed that it was the “underdog” mentality he gleaned from working as a horror movie director that persuaded him to direct Aquaman when the offer first appeared.
He said: “Let’s face it, [Aquaman] is the superhero that everyone makes fun of…There was a bit of reservation at the start about whether or not I should pursue this character. But the more I thought about it, I always being the underdog.”
He continued: “Coming from the horror genre, you’re always the underdog. So I got used to that mentality…I love [horror]. It’s definitely the best way to break into the industry. I just became synonymous with it, so that people had a harder time seeing me for anything else outside of horror. I wanted to prove that I’m not just a horror filmmaker, I’m a filmmaker period.”
Wan also revealed he was persuaded to take the role thanks to him being able to include underwater creatures and “monsters” that Aquaman will encounter. Looks like his roots in horror will come in handy there.
Is there a trailer for the film?
Yes. It was released at San Diego’s Comic-Con on July 21. You can watch the trailer here:
The trailer shows Momoa star as Arthur Curry, a half-human, half-Atlantean caught between his dual identities and two worlds.
It begins with Curry as child where is teased about talking to sea life on a school trip before he is later revealed as Aquaman, the son of Atlantean royalty and heir to the ocean’s throne.
His half-brother Orm, played by Patrick Wilson, also appears as he prepares to rage war on those who threaten the world’s oceans, something he and his half-brother seem at odds with.
The trailer gives further weight to a synopsis leaked in 2017 which said: “Aquaman will centre 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.”
Mera, played by Amber Heard, is also seen in the trailer for the first time as Mera, daughter of Xebel.
What do we know about the characters in the film?
Director James Wan has told Entertainment Weekly (August 9) that the latest movie won’t contain any cameos from members of the Justice League, adding that he wanted to keep the story “clean.”
He said: “I wanted to keep the story to the world of Aquaman and not have to worry about what other characters are doing in their films and how that would affect us. I just thought the simplest way was to keep it clean — keep it simple and let it be an Aquaman story.”
— Amateur Watcher #TPZ (@OhioDavee) August 8, 2018
“I wanted to keep the story to the world of Aquaman and not have to worry about what other characters are doing in their films and how that would affect us. I just thought the simplest way was to keep it clean — keep it simple and let it be an #Aquaman story.” -James Wan
— Rick Shew (@shewrick) August 8, 2018
The director added that whilst he “respected” the DC Universe, he wanted Aquaman to have its own independence.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said: “I told them I understand and respect that it’s part of a bigger universe but at the end of the day I have to tell the story I want to tell, and I want to develop the character as well…It was something the studio was respectful about…in my movie he starts off one way and becomes very different by the end. It’s a classic hero’s journey. I equate our story to The Sword and the Stone, it’s a very Arthurian story about a journey to becoming king.”