For years DC Comics has teased fans about a possible Aquaman movie - but the most that loyal fans were given was a failed television pilot in 2007, a fake movie directed by James Cameron (Avatar) in the HBO series Entourage and a reoccurring character in the highly popular Warner Bros. TV series, Smallville.
Alan Ritchson, the actor who plays Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman in Smallville, recently did an interview with Comic Book Resources where he stated that he thought an Aquaman movie would start swimming soon - but that he hasn’t been approached to play the title role. Here’s an excerpt from that interview which you can find in its entirety HERE.
"But an [Aquaman] movie, on the other hand, I think is very much a reality. In fact, I think there's one in the works. Some people in LA are starting to get the ball rolling on that. I don't know what my involvement would ever be in that, but, yeah, I think it would be cool to see that happen. But it's just so expensive to do. It's hard to say if it's really going to happen."
While IMDb isn’t considered the end-all for accurate and up-to-date information (see the bio joke played on Cody Sousa) there does appear to be an Aquaman movie listed in production for 2013. I spoke with Ritchson’s publicist concerning his quote and while he has heard “rumblings” around town regarding an Aquaman movie, those appear to be nothing more than fleeting mentions in passing conversations.
So if the guy currently playing the King of Atlantis hasn’t heard anything definitive then what is the status of the Aquaman movie?
I spoke with a source at Warner Bros. and they are indeed planning an Aquaman film... but it’s certainly not going to be released in 2013. In fact, they are looking at a release date closer to 2015 or 2016 if everything goes according to plan. Warner Bros. will team up with Leo DiCaprio's production studio Appian Way (Red Riding Hood, Shutter Island) to make the underwater film a reality.
Warner Bros. however, considers Aquaman to be a third tier superhero character and they aren’t in a hurry to invest heavily in him. Since 75% to 80% of an Aquaman film would most likely take place underwater, the movie would need a massive budget of close to an estimated $200 million to make that happen - and Warner Bros. probably doesn’t think they would recoup those costs just yet.
Before Aquaman fans can see the classic orange and green streaking through the ocean’s waves, they will have to wait for another Batman and Superman film, as well as The Flash, Wonder Woman and even Green Lantern 2 to be released first. That’s at least 5 to 7 years worth of films in the WB pipeline before Aquaman can even think about fighting underwater crime.
Warners could be introducing Aquaman to audiences in small doses in a series of cameos in his fellow Justice Leaguers’ films. If general audiences get a chance to know and love Aquaman the way fans do already, then maybe WB wouldn’t have as difficult a time considering investing in a $200 million dollar budget.
DC will need to hurry though because as most comic book movie fans already know, DC is trailing behind Marvel where movies are concerned at this point - with the exception of the successfully rebooted Batman franchise. Things can easily change with Green Lantern and Zack Snyder's Superman reboot debut, however.
Comic book fans know the two biggest comic book heavyweights, DC and Marvel, have been going head-to-head for years. DC struck first in the movie industry with Superman and Batman but the quality of the films began to suffer as they continually went back to those same characters for more movies instead of introducing other characters from their library.
Marvel has already made the effort to introduce other characters such as Iron Man, The Hulk, Fantastic Four and Daredevil to the movie-going public with successful big screen adaptations and even a couple of third tier characters: Elektra, Punisher and Ghost Rider – with mild success. Although these properties were scattered across several major studios (which helped them become a reality), all DC characters are owned by Warner Bros. and hence, all this was done while DC was once again retelling the same story of Batman and Superman – two stories that some say have been told to death.
Now, while Marvel is finishing up movies for more second tier characters like Thor and Captain America, DC is just now working on its first second tier character film: Green Lantern. Sure, they have talked for ages about putting out Green Arrow, Wonder Woman and Flash movies but progress has moved very slowly on each of those films as they devote precious resources to their flagship characters: Batman and Superman.
DC has some other great characters in its superhero coffer, and they need to get going with production on them before Marvel forever drowns them at the box office.
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