As promised by director James Wan, the first trailer for Aquaman was released today at SDCC 2018. It offered viewers their first big-screen glimpse of DC's world beneath the waves, with scenes even featuring the City of Atlantis itself.
The character of Aquaman was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger back in 1941, and in the comics he was actually one of the founding members of the Justice League. However, it was only last year when Aquaman made his way to the big screen inJustice League, ahead of his 2018 solo movie. Aquaman will introduce us to the DC movies' version of Atlantis, with Arthur gaining key allies - and making dangerous new enemies too.
The first Aquaman trailer reveals the origin of Arthur Curry, and confirms that this is indeed the battle for the throne of Atlantis. The surface world is in terrible danger, and war will only be stopped if Arthur succeeds in claiming the throne himself. Let's take a look at the highlights.
25. Aquaman's Origin Story
Just like the trailer, the Aquaman movie will begin in the '80s when lighthouse-keeper Tom Curry discovers the body of Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis, washed up on the beach after a storm. The wind and the waves have tossed Atlanna against the rocks, and she's badly injured. As seen in the trailer, Tom rescues her and tends to her wounds. As time passes, love blossoms between the unlikely couple, and they have a child - Arthur.
Notice that the trailer doesn't show any other scenes featuring Atlanna. The Aquaman set visits confirmed that the Atlanteans ultimately came for Atlanna, viewing her remaining on the surface as a betrayal. She was taken away, and Arthur believes she was ultimately executed for this "crime".
24. Arthur Learns He Can Talk to Fish
This is one of the film's flashback scenes, revealing how young Arthur learns he can talk to fish. His school is on a trip to the Boston Aquarium, and Arthur finds himself drawn to the sea-life. This earns the ire of bullies, who mock him for talking to the fish. It's quite an entertaining nod to the fact that Aquaman is generally derided as a superhero whose primary super-power is the ability to tell fish what to do. There's an amusing parallel between this scene and Justice League, where one of Bruce Wayne's first comments to Aquaman is to observe, "I hear you can talk to fish." Little wonder Aquaman was so annoyed at the comment; Wayne's half-mocking tone would remind him of the moment he first learned his powers, and of the bullies who hounded him.
23. Young Arthur Summons the Sharks
The scene takes a brilliant twist when Arthur unwittingly summons a shark to his aid. The bullies' faces blanch in shock, and they back away as the shark hammers at the glass, desperate to get at the people who are attacking young Arthur. There's a momentary focus on Arthur's eyes, which glow with an inner light, and he turns to face his tormentors. In that moment, young Aquaman looks every bit the King of the Deep, with the beasts of the sea ready to fight in his defense.
The crack on the glass is beautifully artistic, suggesting that in Arthur the barrier between the surface world and the sea dwellers is beginning to break down. This is easily one of the most powerful and visually effective scenes in the trailer.
22. Arthur Takes A Sub
This cool action sequence is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate Aquaman's strength and fortitude. He launches a devastating attack upon a pirate sub, striking its side with the speed of a torpedo. Once the sub has surfaced, Arthur breaks in and engages with the pirates aboard. The sarcastic quip is perfectly in tune with the character as he was established in Justice League, and the bemused reaction from the two pirates he's meeting is absolutely perfect. It's not alluded to here, but this could be linked to the origin of villain Black Manta (more on that later)
21. Mera and the Call to Adventure
The film seems to follow the traditional "Hero's Journey" pattern, and this is the Call to Adventure. Mera (Amber Heard) comes to Arthur (Jason Momoa) seeking his help, believing he is the only one who can prevent his half-brother Orm declaring war on the surface world. As seen in the trailer, Arthur initially refuses, insisting he wants nothing to do with Atlantis. Ironically, as we see further on in the trailer, it's Orm himself who persuades Arthur to change his mind.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020