Those who have seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice have now gotten their very first look at Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman in action, as brief as it is. Nevertheless, that glimpse alone should be enough to sell many on the idea of what the Aquaman solo film can provide, in terms of onscreen spectacle featuring the water-based DC superhero – especially with James Wan of The Conjuring and Furious 7 fame onboard to call the shots on the project.
Aquaman, which (according to the latest reports) is being scripted by Wan’s The Conjuring 2 writing collaborator David Leslie Johnson, will at least in part take place after its namesake joins forces with the other “meta-humans” of the DC Extended Universe in 2017’s Justice League Part One – and like other elements in the DCEU, the Aquaman mythology will draw from both comic books past and real world influences.
For example, Aquaman’s own culture in the DCEU will be heavily influenced by real-world Polynesian culture, as illustrated by the tattoos and armor worn by Moma’s iteration of the character. Similarly, the various fantastical sea creatures that populate Arthur’s underwater kingdom have been shaped in part by real-world deep sea biological lifeforms – with Batman V Superman‘s co-writer and Justice League‘s writer, Chris Terrio having studied creatures that reside in the Mariana Trench for inspiration in building the foundation of Aquaman’s world that Wan will expand upon with his DC Comics adaptation. Wan assured the press at the 2016 WonderCon (hat tip to /Film) that he will also be using his imagination to further flesh out Aquaman‘s oceanic settings and creatures:
“I think, like most people, we are familiar with Aquaman. We grew up reading or watching this character on the peripheral. I was never so in depth with Aquaman as, let’s say, I was with X-Men. I grew up loving X-Men, Spider-Man and Batman. Those are obviously the key big ones, but there’s always something kind of cool about Aquaman still, the idea of creating a huge world that is on our planet. That’s the thing about Aquaman that’s cool is he’s not an alien, right? He’s from our planet and he’s from a society that we’re not privy to in the context of the story. Isn’t it crazy to think that we’ve explored space more than we have explored the depths of our ocean? That just fires up my imagination about potential sea monsters and cool creatures, that kind of stuff.”
Among the potential sea monsters/villains that could show up during the Aquaman movie are The Trench, a race of carnivorous sea creatures that reside in a crack on the ocean floor. Their inclusion in Wan’s movie seems all the more plausible given that they were introduced in the first storyline from the Aquaman New 52 comic book relaunch by Geoff Johns: DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer, who has been lending a helping hand in shaping the DCEU and has already expressed his hope that Momoa’s big screen version of Aquaman will help to make the character more of a mainstay of superhero pop culture than he is now. (Johns is also working on the DC Comics’ Rebirth event that could influence future DCEU films, like Aquaman.)
That generally well-received comic book narrative also features Mera (who Amber Heard is now confirmed to play in the DCEU) in a prominent role, so it’s all the more possible that Wan’s film will end up taking some inspiration from that particular source material. Of course, there are plenty of other Aquaman villains and sea creatures that can serve as a primary antagonist in the film instead. King Shark, for instance, has appeared in multiple episodes of The Flash TV series and was once rumored to figure into the plot of David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad DCEU movie, so even that character shouldn’t be ruled out completely for Wan’s own DC adaptation.
Regardless of what happens in this respect, the “sea monsters” of the Aquaman movie ought to be pretty terrifying in concept along for those who have an intense fear (or just general uneasiness) about the creatures that reside in the depths of the sea – not least of all, with the filmmaker behind such horror films as Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring helping to imagine those “monsters.” Indeed, Aquaman could have elements of a monster horror movie in that regard; albeit, a fun one, as no less an authority than Wan himself has already promised to deliver.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: James Wan [via /Film]