Jason Momoa has some major villain-related news to share about the Aquaman movie at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. Warner Bros.’ Hall H panel has just wrapped up, after sharing trailers for both Ready Player One and Justice League (both of which are now available online) as well as some footage from Aquaman. Momoa, however, had one more bit of news to share — Ocean Master will be the villain in director James Wan’s DC Extended Universe solo movie.
The confirmation of Ocean Master as Aquaman‘s main antagonist wasn’t explicit from the footage screened at SDCC, but later on in the panel, Momoa referred to the manta ray-shaped submarines shown attacking a fishing boat as belonging to Ocean Master’s army. It’s long been rumored that Ocean Master — A.K.A. Orm, Arthur Curry’s Atlantean half-brother and frequent antagonist for the character — would be the film’s main villain, but here it is, straight from the King of Atlantis’ mouth.
Some may have even considered Patrick Wilson’s casting as Orm as confirmation of the character appearing in Aquaman, but there was always a possibility that WB would wait and use Wan’s film to set-up that sibling rivalry, before having Orm develop into a full blown villain in a later installment. However, it sounds like Aquaman will instead focus heavily on the conflict between the brothers, depicting the struggle between them as they fight for their right to rule Atlantis as its king.
Both Arthur and Orm’s connection to the throne of Atlantis stem from their mother, Queen Atlanna. Arthur was her first child, but being that he was half-human, she was forced to leave him with his father, Thomas Curry, the lighthouse keeper with whom she had fallen in love. She then returned to Atlantis where she married and had a second child, Orm. In DC Comics’ New 52 continuity, Atlanna dies of mysterious circumstances and Orm, now an adult, is crowned King of Atlantis. But it isn’t long before Arthur — now operating as Aquaman and having since learned that he is the true heir — challenges Orm for the throne after learning his brother intends for Atlantis to invade the surface world.
Now, there’s absolutely no guarantee that Wan’s Aquaman will follow this exact setup for Arthur and Orm’s conflict, but the fact that Arthur isn’t a true Atlantean is sure to come up. During today’s panel, Momoa made comments that suggest his Arthur doesn’t feel as if he truly belongs anywhere, neither on land or in the sea, and DCEU co-runner and DC Comics CCO, Geoff Johns echoed those same sentiments in an earlier panel. In fact, Arthur’s duel heritage is often a sticking point for a lot of Altanteans, making them supporters of Orm’s claim to the throne even if he is Atlanna’s younger son and a xenophobe who’s hell bent on invading the surface.
Production is currently in full swing on Aquaman, with principle photography underway in Australia. The footage shared today in Hall H is likely only a sign that it won’t be much longer before a teaser is released, possibly even attached to this fall’s Justice League, at which we’ll have a clearer picture of how the film plans on setting up the central conflict between Arthur and Orm.
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