Every time news comes of a new superhero movie being made, fanboys and fangirls go crazy right away. We’ve been used to Marvel superheroes from comics coming to life on the big screen, but people still go gaga over them. Who can say they are not excited to see Spider-Man: Far From Home or the second part of Avengers: Infinity War, no one, of course. That’s Marvel, these films are a dime a dozen. So when we heard of DC in talks of making a movie the magnitude of which measures with and could rival Marvel’s The Avengers, we knew right away that it will be the Justice League.
They’ve set it up with re-boots of Superman and Batman, then came one of the best films (not just superhero film) in 2017, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Patty Jenkins did some masterful directing on this film and it was a runaway hit. And then we all saw them in the Justice League together: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. Next up in the DCEU, DC Extended Universe, a list of upcoming films is the much-awaited film version of Aquaman. Crazy times breed crazy news, here’s a little help on what are rumors and what are the facts about DCEU’s next film, Aquaman.
5. Three villains
In every Q&A at a conference, this question comes about as the third most asked of them all. Who will be the super-villain that’s going to appear in the film? Who is the antagonist, the bad guy, the nemesis? Some of the worthy enemies of Aquaman that we would love to see in the film are Ocean Master, Black Manta, King Shark, Charybdis, Fisherman, and The Dead King. Ocean Master is Aquaman’s half-brother, there’s blood there, so he must be a good first nemesis. Black Manta will always be known as the villain responsible for the death of Arthur Curry Jr., Aquaman’s son.
Rumors surfaced early on of three villains in the Aquaman film, this was great news. Who would the three be? How would the story go around three villains in one epic Aquaman film? Will Aquaman be rendered assistance, say another Justice League member to the rescue? Rumors around that particular bit of news went around for months until James Wan spoke. James Wan shut all the rumors up by saying that he is not crazy enough to feature three villains in an origin story. He said there’s just not enough time and space to do that. All the fans heard were the words “origin story”. Wow! This is really happening! The origin story of Aquaman on film!
4. Karl Urban joining cast
Producing a cast for a film is no easy task. All great movies are built on the foundation of a working and effective cast of actors. The connection, the harmony, and the chemistry are all there in the group of actors portraying a great story and making a movie worthy of praise. On the other side of the coin is the happenstance of bad casting that becomes the fall of a supposedly good movie. So it goes with superhero movies, we admit it does not require the caliber of acting that we see in Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks, but it still needs that quality every film requires in terms of acting and casting. Aquaman casting rumors have gone out since the day it was announced that the film is greenlit. Several have spread that Karl Urban may be joining the cast.
This is a win for Aquaman, Karl Urban has a propensity for making a film look better when he’s in it. We first recognized him in The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers as Eomer, the leader of the Rohan horselords. Then he stood his own with Dwayne Johnson in Doom, and he did a pretty good job as Judge Dredd in the 2012 reboot. He was also in Star Trek (2009) trilogy as Leonard McCoy. Most recently, he played Skurge in Thor: Ragnarok. But alas, it was just a rumor and he is not part of the Aquaman cast.
3. D.B.Woodside or Michael Jai White to play Black Manta
Some superheroes have one or two great arch-enemies, some have more. Aquaman’s greatest nemesis, the one he loathes the most, is definitely Black Manta. Black Manta has several origin stories, first in the Aquaman 1993 series, as a boy who called for Aquaman’s help, which Aquaman did not see. And another in the 2003 series where he was a young man with autism imprisoned in Arkham. When news of Black Manta appearing in the film surfaced, people began to speculate who could play that role best. Since this is an origin story, it would be logical to expect Black Manta as a younger man, that means a younger actor.
Some news came out that Dennis Haysbert is being considered for the role, but he is about 60 and he could be too old for the role. Then news came of D.B. Woodside and Michael Jai White being considered for Black Manta’s character. D.B. Woodside is a good character actor and it could work. Michael Jai White, we believe, is the better choice. He’s done it and he’s super athletic, he played Albert Simmons in the 1997 film Spawn, and did a heck of a job, too. But they all turned out to be rumors as none of these actors made the cast.
2. Mera’s relationship
Almost all of the time, film versions of any kind of story, whether a novel or a comic book, tend to veer away from the original, for whatever artistic or technical reason it may be. It happens, it’s no surprise to fans anymore. But sometimes, there are changes that affect the whole story and the fan experience in a negative way. The biggest rumor about the storyline and how it is different from the Aquaman comics stories is Mera’s relationship with King Nereus of Xebel. In 2011, DC did a reset of all its comics, they called it The New 52. All existing issues canceled, then replaced with 52 new series of comics.
In The New 52, Mera’s origin was rewritten and kind of adjusted, but the story is that she is betrothed to King Nereus and they rule the kingdom of Xebel. News spread of a change in the film’s storyline and it states that that relationship has changed from husband and wife to father and daughter. That’s quite an awkward jump from lovers to father and daughter. We don’t know how true this news is, we still consider it as a rumor. But we hope that the film would justify tastefully why they made that change if it is true, and we believe in the acting prowess of Amber Heard as Mera and know that she would make anything work.
1. Director James Wan quit
Great and successful films almost always have a great director behind it. Sometimes, there are some productions that undergo drastic changes and end up having to replace the director of the film. The recent news of James Gunn being replaced by the Guardians Of The Galaxy is the latest example of such a situation. We hope for the best with him, and wish that the executives change their minds and put him back in. Aquaman might have fallen in the same situation, as early as May 2016, there was news surrounding the departure of director James Wan from the Aquaman film production.
People speculate that this rumor might be true given James Wan’s experience in big-budget films. He had to endure the stress of losing the main cast in the demise of Paul Walker in Furious 7, people say he might not want to experience that same stress again in a big and important film like Aquaman. Some even speculate that he has current projects with Warner in the Conjuring and Annabelle films, so he really is not burning bridges if he chooses to quit. But these are all rumors as we saw James Wan power through and finish what would be the biggest film of his directing career.
5. The main cast
Ever since we saw him as Khal Drogo in the HBO series Game of Thrones, we knew that Jason Momoa is next in line to be the next best thing. He is the main protagonist in the much-anticipated film version of Aquaman. A mountain of a man, he really can play any superhero he auditions for. He was Conan the Barbarian and a Dothraki horse lord named Khal Drogo in 2011, two bigger than the regular guy roles, and no regular actor can portray. Joining him in the main cast if Aquaman is Amber Heard and Patrick Wilson.
We all saw Amber Heard as Mera in the Justice League, together with a little glimpse of Atlantis. She’s a capable actress who’s been acting in films since 2004, but this is no doubt, here best and biggest role ever. Patrick Wilson plays the main antagonist in the film, Orm, Arthur Curry’s half-brother, or Ocean Master. Patrick Wilson and James Wan have a kind of professional friendship, as they’ve made a lot of films together in the Insidious and The Conjuring film series. These three you will see mostly in the film, with an assist from veteran actor Willem Dafoe, who will play Arthur’s mentor, Nuidis Vulko.
4. The director
Residing in California, born in Malaysia, of Chinese descent, and with Australian nationality, James Wan is a melting pot of Asian and Oceanian influence and culture. He is a director with a diversity that no other director has. He’s mostly directed and wrote horror films in his directorial and writing career. The first motion picture he ever wrote and directed was Saw back in 2004, and that spawned seven sequels. He also directed Insidious in 2010, which had 3 sequels. Then he directed The Conjuring in 2013, and that film had 4 sequels, and maybe one more coming. We’re sure he will not only direct the first Aquaman but also at least Aquaman 2 and 3 if everything goes well hopefully.
In 2015, James Wan showcased his talents of directing outside his comfort zone of the horror film genre by taking on the biggest film of his career. To make things more challenging, it was not just a regular blockbuster film, but the 6th sequel in a series of blockbuster films. He directed the 6th instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise, title Furious 7. The film was a huge success, earning $1.5 billion in box office worldwide. He is, in fact, Aquaman’s director.
3. The supporting cast
The cast of the film Aquaman is good, but the supporting cast is better. Headed by Nicole Kidman, fans shouldn’t need to hear some more names anymore. But here we go. Joining Kidman are Dolph Lundgren, Djimon Hounsou, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Nicole Kidman needs no introduction, she is an A-lister who just ventured the world of television and came out on top, again, and got an Emmy for Best Actress last year in her work in HBO’s series Big Little Lies. She plays the mother of Arthur Curry, Queen Atlanna. Dolph Lundgren will always be Ivan Drago in our eyes. But in this film, he plays the king of Xebel, King Nereus.
Djimon Hounsou is no stranger to the epic hero movie, as he’s been in films like Gladiator, Constantine, Arthur: Legend of The Sword, and Guardians of The Galaxy. In Aquaman, he will be the Fisherman King. Randall Park is a wonderful comedian, we recently saw his comedic acting chops in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Here he plays Thomas Curry’s friend, marine biologist Dr. Stephen Shin. Temuera Morrison will play Arthur’s father, Thomas Curry and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II got the role of Black Manta.
2. The story
Revealing the storyline of Aquaman is kind of not a surprise anymore. We all know it most probably will be an origin story. Just like almost all superhero films, the first one is always an origin story. And when you ask fans, most of them would always answer the first one is still the best. That means origin stories tend to make a lasting impression, whether the movie made it to two sequels or more, people always liked the original. There is something to an origin story that just makes us love them more than their often plot-complicated and elaborate sequels. The fact is, and this came from the mouth of the film’s director James Wan, Aquaman will be an origin story. The question is, which origin story?
His first known origin story was published in 1941, in this story he was the son of an undersea explorer who lived in the lost kingdom of Atlantis. Another origin story was published in 1959, he was the son of Tom Curry and Atlanta. Now this one, most likely, will be the one used by the film since we know now that his name is Arthur Curry and that his parents are Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman).
1. The release date
Barring any more setbacks, the official release of the DCEU Aquaman motion picture is set. One of the oldest comic book characters and superhero in the history of comics is coming to life, finally. And everyone gets to see it on December 21, 2018. Earlier release dates are probable for Asian countries, as we heard that it will be released 7 days earlier in the United Kingdom, on December 14th. All we hope for now is that this is the final release date. It was originally scheduled for a release date of July 27th but was obviously pushed, or we would be watching them for the second or third time in cinemas this weekend. Then it was moved again to October 5th. Finally, in March, Warner Bros. set another date of release and that date seem to have stuck as it is still the date we know today.
Aquaman could be cursed early with the moving of release dates, we are not talking about just the film. Even the trailer had some issues of release dates. Director James Wan confirmed one thing via social media, then Warner Bros. does not confirm. This thing got everyone on edge, when will we see that trailer really. Finally, the trailer dropped and it was amazing. James Wan is really good. He might be able to pull it off. Now we just wait for the whole thing in December, again, barring setbacks.