Warner Bros. has screened James Wan's Aquaman movie for early test audiences and the first reactions have begun to surface, indicating the DC Comics film is good - but not great. The studio launched their current DC franchise in 2013 with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, introducing a new take on Superman. However, the cinematic world opened up immensely in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which officially introduced Batman and Wonder Woman and offered glimpses of The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Now, Arthur Curry aka. Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is getting his own solo movie when the eponymous film opens in theaters later this year.
Aquaman will be the first DC movie released by Warner Bros. since Justice League, and it joins a franchise that hasn't always performed well with critics or at the box office. While Man of Steel was successful enough, Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad both received mixed-to-negative reviews; Justice League received middling reviews, but wasn't the massive box office hit many were expecting. Wonder Woman is the only unequivocal hit of the series, but fans are looking to Aquaman to hopefully repeat the success of Patty Jenkins' DC film. Now, the first screening reactions to Aquaman have surfaced and they offer some insight into what fans can expect.
Following an early test screening held in San Fernando Valley, California, second-hand reactions showed up on Twitter - meaning reactions seemingly not from folks in attendance of the movie itself, but from those who talked to people who attended the screening. Omega Underground's Christopher Marc, The GWW's KC Walsh and Collider's Steven Weintraub posted impressions from the Aquaman screening to Twitter; see their tweets below.
The early reactions to Aquaman aren't overwhelmingly positive, with the good-but-not-great distinction. And DC movie fans who have enjoyed how Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman differentiated themselves from Marvel Studios' Marvel Cinematic Universe may be disappointed by the comparison. It's unclear from the reactions what about Aquaman is similar to Marvel's early movies, though it could be that Wan's film works as an origin story for Arthur Curry. Nevertheless, these reactions skew toward the middle on a scale of positive to negative.
Of course, since these reactions are coming from test screenings, Warner Bros. and Wan may make some changes to their cut of Aquaman based on what viewers said afterward. Studios typically use test audiences to gauge reactions before finalizing their film, and can make changes to improve a movie based on feedback from those audiences. Perhaps Wan will make some changes to Aquaman that will evoke different reactions at upcoming screenings, so these early impressions of the movie may not necessarily indicate what DC fans can expect. While they do reveal the current cut of Aquaman may be good (not great), the movie is still four months away from its release date and Warner Bros. has time to tweak the film. Fans will get to see the final product when Aquaman hits theaters in December.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019