5 Reasons Why ‘Aquaman’ Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 4th, 2014 at 7:31 am,

Aquaman Movie Justice League Discussion 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

With the success of both Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Trilogy comes renewed evidence that DC Comics and Warner Bros.’ flagship superheros are respectively worthy of supporting big-budget movie franchises – but what about those other heroes like Wonder Woman, The Flash or even Aquaman?

The future of DC’s Movieverse is still uncertain – which is why we have plenty of time to discuss the merits of each and every one of these “second tier” heroes on the DC roster. In this installment, we’ll pitch you on 5 reasons that Aquaman could be THE next big DC/WB movie franchise.

Do you agree with our reasoning? Or is the “King of Fish” too silly for the big screen? READ ON and then decide for yourself…


The Story

Aquaman Justice League Jason Momoa Discussion 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

Part of the formula for success for DC superhero movies has been the adherence to telling character-centric stories set in a “real-world” context. In keeping with that formulaic blueprint, it’s not hard to see why Aquaman could be a winner.

At its core, the identity struggles of a man from two different worlds is relatable enough (see: Man of Steel) – but in a day and age where “the environment” is a hot-button term, and the wrath of the sea (hurricanes, tsunamis) are daily fears, Aquaman’s story can encompass topics and themes that no other superhero really can (mankind’s relationship to Nature, etc.).

Forget the silly CW pilot or that faux James Cameron film on Entourage - a serious-minded Aquaman movie could have something relevant and timely to say, given the chance.


The Characters

Aquaman Movie vs Ocean Master 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

There’s no good story without good characters, and Aquaman has good characters to spare. The man himself is an obvious metaphor for identity struggles (particularly in a modern world of increasing multi-culturalism), but Aquaman’s mythos is filled with strong female characters (Mera); alien races (Atlanteans, the Trench); an evil half-brother (Ocean Master); and even a black archnemesis (Black Manta). As far as “dramatis personae” go, Aquaman is pretty solid.

Moreover, thanks to modern creators like Geoff Johns, the characters in Aquaman have already been fleshed-out and modernized enough that they could attract a cast of high-caliber actors, with the central role open to any chiseled leading man on the brink of stardom (read our suggestions for actors to play Aquaman).


The Setting

Aquaman Movie Message Discussion 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

Aquaman would no doubt be set on dry land during Arthur Curry’s formative years (living with his human father, Tom Curry), but after a (now-standard) hop through his troubled adolescence (hearing sea creatures, being drawn like an addict to the ocean) we could literally dive into a whole new world for superhero films to explore: the deep sea.

Being a real-life quasi-hydrophobe, the thing that terrifies me about the ocean is that it’s literally an alien terrain whose full depths we have never fully uncovered. That mystery leaves infinite possibilities for imaginative Cinematic storytelling.

The beautiful lost city of Atlantis? Terrifying regions of the deep? Freakish creatures and beasts born of the ocean (see: recent Aquaman storyline “The Trench”)? This movie could have all of the above.


The Technology

Aquaman Movie Setting Discussion 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

If you haven’t heard, this guy named Jim Cameron is hard at work on some revolutionary technology for Avatar 2, a small sequel film that will try to bring the world visual effects related to the ocean and water that we’ve never seen before. While it’s a whole separate discussion what this new filmmaking tech will mean for the world of Pandora, one clear fringe benefit of Cameron’s tinkering could be revolutionary and kick-ass Aquaman movie experience (in 3D).

Again, the freaky (or fascinating) thing about the ocean is how mysterious it remains, even in modern times. Cameron will get first jump on showing action sequences set in much more realistic underwater settings, but DC/WB could be the first to really capture what it is for a superhero to use his ocean-based powers in combat. Aquaman kicking ass like the ‘Superman of the sea’ that he is? Yes please.



Justice League Movie Aquaman Matt Damon 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

The difficulty of the DC Movieverse going forward is not so much figuring out how to chronicle the origins of its major characters (the “Nolan approach” seems to be doing that just fine) – the real challenge from here on out will be figuring out how to position those individual character stories around one major milestone: the world debut of Superman.

Whether an Aquaman movie takes place before or after the events of Man of Steel, one good thing about it is that its unique setting (an underwater world) is an almost guaranteed way to side-step the annoying question of ‘Why doesn’t Superman just show up and handle it?’ Superman has a world to watch over – but it ain’t the world of the sea. An Aquaman saga could play out under the ocean without Superman intervention, and nobody would likely be bothered.

Furthermore, the emergence of the Man of Steel and world-altering events of the Kryptonian invasion are all events that could catalyze events in an Aquaman story, by serving as the inspirtation of an Atlantean attack on the surface, or Superman inspiring Aquaman to make a choice about his identity etc… In short: this character would be easy to position within the Justice League movie canon.


Justice League Movie Members New 52 5 Reasons Why Aquaman Could Be the Next Big DC Superhero Movie

Below you’ll find a quick recap of why we believe an Aquaman movie could be the next successful superhero blockbuster for DC Comics and Warner Bros. Do you agree with our reasoning? Let us know in the comments!

  •  The Story – Aquaman is a richly complex character with an epic origin story.
  • The Characters – They’re diverse, three-dimensional, modern and perfect star vehicles.
  • The Setting – Superhero action beneath the seas? Yes Please!
  • The Technology – Given where film tech is headed, the visual splendor of Aquaman could be unmatched by anything else in the genre.
  • Continuity – We need the next chapter in the Justice League saga, and this is a perfect fit.


We’ll Keep you updated on the status of the DC Movieverse as more information is released. For now, catch Man of Steel in theaters.

[All Artwork is the Property of DC Comics]

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. I thought kofi was joking about this article on the podcast

    • Me too.
      My reaction was “Damn, he followed through with it!”

  2. Our staff & followers agree 110%!

    Well articulated argument for the Sea King — let’s hope WB pulls a surprise move and announces AQUAMAN at SDCC.

    Follow us @AquamanShrine on Twitter

    Semper Aqua!

  3. Guillermo Del Toro. That’s all I have to say about the subject.

    • Agreed. Del Toro would do Aquaman justice. He was also the first name that came to mind when I was reading this.

    • He could be good but he is so busy.How about Joseph Kosinsk he could create some great visuals.

      • He’s [Kosinsk] more of a techy/sci-fi guy to me. Don’t get me wrong he has a great eye, but Aquaman is as fantastical as you can get in DC. Monsters and magic is Del Toro’s area of expertise. And chances are he already reads Aquaman on his own time.

        • How about Alfonso Cuarón he directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban which was my favorite in the series and is available to direct a movie.He was my choice to direct a justice league movie but Aquaman deserves a good movie.

          • That is my favorite of the series too and I am eagerly anticipating Gravity.

            He can direct all he want in DC, I’ll watch it.

    • That would be the only reason I would consider seeing this film!!
      Aquaman and Superman are the weakest of the DC characters to try and portray on film …

      • I have to disagree. Both Superman and Aquaman can be done on film. If you ask me, Wonder Woman is the problem.

      • I have to disagree. Both Superman and Aquaman can be done (even presented perfectly) on film. If you ask me, Wonder Woman is the problem.

        • i disagree The Flash would be the hardest since his power is super speed the movie would have to be in slow motion and he doesn’t have the best villains.

  4. Would love to see an Aquaman film, it’s fresh and different from every other superhero film. Don’t really know Aquaman to be honest, but always liked the premise of the character.

  5. Man you dudes are killing me! Let dc/wb do what theyre gonna do im all for an aquaman film no matter if they didn’t somehow incorporate the marvel style to MoS if they make it great! If not i would feel bad also im just waiting to see what’s gonna happen

  6. I want some of what your smoke’n, Nolan provide you only need to use the absolute bare minimum of actual cannon material and characters to produce a DC Comics movie.

    Plus you’ve gotta be high to think Aquaman is next, if they can’t get Wonder Woman or Green Lantern to work, how the hell is anyone at WB going to figure out Aquaman!

  7. Hire Vinnie Chase.

  8. I’m all for an awesome Aquaman movie! My pick for him would be Luke Evans.

  9. Yes Yes YES!! 102% agree!!

  10. reason number 6: aquaman is a terrible superhero

    • Aquaman is a fantastic superhero (one of the most powerful on the DC Earth, in fact) with, as Kofi quite effectively pointed out, a great deal of other cinematically favorable aspects.

      I don’t know that the folks at DC (Warner Bros.?) WILL choose Aquaman as their next entry into the film universe(s) of DC, but if they do, I’d be exceedingly happy.

      …plus, it would satisfy a certain “mythological” itch of mine to see the third of the three brothers in the Olympian pantheon rulership brought FINALLY to the big screen (Zeus=Superman, Hades=Batman, Poseidon=Aquaman).

      • That is a GREAT analogy.

        • +1

      • + 10,000

  11. I’ve been saying this for most of this year now but Kaiwei Lyman to play the bearded King of Atlantis version of Aquaman please.

  12. Remember that one time when I wrote a pretty sweet premise for Aquaman? Man that was cool.

    • L.Cheerio,

      Yes I do, and it was very good!

  13. Awesome post! Have you guys ever heard of the Aquaman Shrine — they’ve been carrying the torch for Aquaman fans for years & an amazing site!!!

  14. With the whole Avengers/JLA parallel I could see Aquaman being DC’s Thor.

    • @ Banana

      I was kind of thinking Wonder Woman would be DC’s Thor.

      • But they haven’t been able to get her rolling. She could be their Ant-Man 8)

        • @ Banana

          True, they havn’t.

          I was looking at Wonder Woman as more of a first tier character, like Thor. I don’t know that Ant-Man is a first tier character.

    • I think Thor’s role is already taken by Superman… he is considered God, right?

  15. If they adapt the first 11-12 issues of Geoff Johns’ Aquaman run, that’d make for a pretty good movie.

  16. Interesting arguments, but I can just as easily think up five reasons why he WOULDN’T work as a movie.
    1)He’s Aquaman
    2)He’s Aquaman
    3)He’s Aquaman
    4)He’s Aquaman

    I could probably do five more too….

    • Read the New 52 comics. He’s not a silly ecto-activist that talks to fish. He’s a king of Atlantis torn between the two worlds of land and sea and where he belongs, and he takes his throne back from his evil half-brother.

  17. I’m not a big DC guy but I think aquman is done right it could be fun I enjoyed man of steel so hopefully they can do a good job

  18. I don’t think an Aquaman movie is something many people would be interested in – and not just because of the stigma attached to the character.

    I’m a huge fan of Aquaman ever since the New 52, but an Aquaman movie isn’t on my wishlist so to speak. If they make it, great! If they don’t… not bothered.
    It’s similar to Ant-Man in a way: there’s lots of potential for a great movie, and once the movie was announced, people got excited (myself included), but very few people (even fans), “wanted” an Ant-Man movie before the time – most of us would have been more than happy if they were just included in Avengers.

    That said, he should definitely be in The Justice League. It’s about time people’s perception of lame-Aquaman got stabbed in the face by a trident ;)

    • It’s all about marketing, it really is. You have to show people why you should like this character.

      That being sad, I think Aquaman is capable o being taken more seriously than Ant-Man in that sense. Neither of them are necessary, but Hank Pym really doesn’t workin his own movie the more I think about it. If he appeared in a film, cool. But I don’t know anyone who wants to watch a man shrink and grow for 2 hours. Aquaman is mocked because he only works in the ocean, but that’s still a huge part of Earth and some of the most dangerous animals and natural disasters happen in the ocean.

      • I think if they can sell the movie as not the Aquaman you know, but rather something bigger than it would work.

        I think of the Man of Steel marketing which started slow, had people confuse, but as it ramped up people were easily falling in to the story naturally and the fact that it was Superman seemed like a bonus.

        The Dark Knight- Crime film
        Man of Steel- First contact story
        Green Lantern- standard conventional cliched superhero film

        Marvel has a brand name, and relatively unknown characters that really do not have a negative public image.

        Aquaman, Wonder Woman, etc can all be seen as ready for parodies unless the filmmakers and marketing show that these characters are from the same cloth as Man of Steel and The Dark Knight that are something more and shred sillier concepts of the character away.

        That is why I dig the DC naming trend: The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Arrow. They all a recognizable to the character and mythos, but state there is something else to it.

  19. An Aquaman movie could be successful and great if done correctly. I still think Armie Hammer should be cast as Aquaman.


    • Armie looks like Paul Walker’s younger brother in that pic…LOL

  20. I think that there was a slight easter egg for Aquaman in “Man of Steel”. I wont spoil it for anyone though.

    • awww come on!!

      • Whales.

    • If you’re talking about the fact young Clark reads a book on Plato or the oil rig fire, you’re wrong. Just wishful thinking, my friend.

  21. Cast Vinnie Chase.

  22. One of the reasons that the new Geoff Johns run on Aquaman works is because the world knows and mocks him. I think WB/DC should have him show up in Justice League and then make his solo movie a post JL affair after he’s already been established.

  23. Still think a Namor movie will get made first then it will pave the way for a good Aquaman film.But no matter which happens first i’ll support them both bcuz it’s about time we got a good underwater superhero movie made.

    • At this rate, Marvel will do the Submariner before DC gets Wonder Woman started.

      • I hope so. Everything interesting about Aquaman was ripped from Namor.

        • On that same note, however, DC should have gotten a Flash movie before Marvel did Quicksilver. Sorry about that…

        • Well, it is true that Aquaman is a giant rip-off. I don’t believe for a second that WB is going to make an Aquaman movie when they can’t seem to get Flash or Wonder Woman off the ground. Marvel, however, has shown big brass balls in terms of adapting their properties. With GOTG, they are demonstrating the will to do *anything* they have in the library.

  24. Honestly can’t see this happening, (especially since Arthur has been absent from most proposed JLA scripts), but there’s no DC hero I’d like to see more on the big screen.

    • I want the Flash! Not nearly so big budget as Aquaman, yet so cool!

  25. Among my favored DC comic heroes, Aquaman is an enchanting hero to be sure, though one who pales in comparison to Marvel’s Submariner. But a film adaptation of this watery creature would require more than radical surgery.

    What works in a comic book would emanate undistinguish from a male-mermaid on screen. Unfortunately, in that submarine environment, Aquaman battling Jaws would have a general audience rooting for the shark.

    Those themes commented upon by Kofi Outlaw, who carefully avoided using words like “global warming” and “climate change”, desires a character-centric story that requires a great deal more than the protagonist reacting to changes or threats in the natural world.

    Aquaman must be partnered with another superhero to both balance his acumen and support the narrative necessary for a feature film.

  26. Joseph Kosinski as Director Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,Alexander Skarsgård,or Charlie Hunnam as Aquaman

  27. I’m so glad you wrote this, Kofi. I was just telling a friend about it last night.

  28. An Aquaman movie done well would be absolutely amazing. I’ve been waiting for a DC movie that’s not about Batman or Superman since 2009 (Green Lantern doesn’t count). I just hope they don’t go down the Thor route when it comes to explaining Atlantian magic. One of the things DC/Warner could do to separate themselves from Disney/Marvel would be to have magic really exist in their universe, instead of just saying science and magic exist as one, or that the science is so advanced that it’s nigh indistinguishable from magic, like Thor did. For Aquaman, I choose Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The guy is a really good actor and he would an absolute bada** Aquaman.

  29. Now this one I really would like to watch for sure…
    Idk, I really dig Aquaman A LOT and it made me cringe to know that people tend to underrate him too much. He’s a king, and the whole dilemma surrounding the throne of Atlantis would be a great plot. Plus, the universe already justifies the existence of ‘aliens’ so why not the mythical city of Atlantis as the next big thing.