It has yet to be confirmed that the hero will even make an appearance in Batman V Superman, but a new report claims that Warner Bros. is wasting no time in moving forward with a standalone Aquaman movie. To maximize the studio’s chances of bringing a successful version of the aquatic hero to the big screen sooner rather than later, Warner Bros. has hired both Will Beall (Gangster Squad, Castle) and Kurt Johnstad (300, 300: Rise of an Empire) to being work on scripts for the film, with the best version being selected for development.
The news comes courtesy of THR, and while the rumors of Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian) have yet to be confirmed by either the actor himself or the studio, the same sources claims that the scripts being developed are mentioned to have Momoa in the lead role.
The decision to hire two writers to work on separate visions for an Aquaman film (not an uncommon practice) was no doubt made to hedge their bets, now that the studio has issued an official release schedule, confirming that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will kick off an entire shared movie universe.
The news comes hot on the heels of director Zack Snyder calling a Detroit radio station to defend the oft-teased superhero, providing a large hint that he could be set to play a significant role in DC’s future films. And while the two writers may not boast lengthy resumes, there is at least some reason to think that Snyder’s hopes for a “badass Aquaman” are indeed what WB is after.
For several reasons, Will Beall may be viewed with skepticism when it comes to any movie or character tied to Justice League. After his work on Gangster Squad left much to be desired, and his story for a Justice League film was ambitious to say the least, it had seemed that his writing talents had been pushed aside upon the arrival of Snyder and David S. Goyer. However, with a script deal in place with WB already, it’s not strange to see them putting his talents to work on a film that, given the hero’s public perception, could use some ambition.
What is perhaps even more interesting is the signing of Kurt Johnstad, most well-known for his work on both 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire, developing the screenplays for both alongside Snyder himself. We’ve expressed our belief that out of all the DC heroes set for adaptation, Aquaman has the potential for 300-level action, with the King of Atlantis at its center. With this news, it seems WB agrees.
It’s also worth noting that both of Johnstad and Snyder’s collaborations were adapted from comic books, Frank Miller’s “300″ and “Xerxes.” It stands to reason that WB have asked Johnstad to put his experience in adapting graphic novel to film for Aquaman as well. DC writer Geoff Johns already provided a strong reboot of his own, so it would be a wise move to start.
Fans can use Johnstad’s past work, or even Beall’s rumored preference for large-scale superhero stories to speculate that an Atlantean army could provide much of the action for a solo Aquaman movie. It’s far too early to say what direction the studio could choose to head, but by selecting a writer who has already had his mind on the League’s heroes, and another Snyder collaborator with a taste for classical warfare, they’re covering their bases.
We’ll keep you updated on all news related to the still-unannounced Aquaman movie, but what do you make of the news? Does the pedigree of 300 buoy your hopes, or do you still have concerns about the potential for a standalone movie starring the aquatic king? Sound off in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for Aquaman updates as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.