The Aquaman trailer finally arrived thanks to WB's panel at San Diego Comic-Con - but it wasn't the most impressive part of the show. The bad news is that the extra footage shown to attendees in Hall H may have sold the movie, and Jason Momoa's hero, far more than the trailer released online.
We've done our best to break down the differences between Aquaman's trailer and extra footage, but it's not guaranteed that the footage will ever make it online for others to see. And if that's the case, it falls to us to explain why the extra footage is a far superior, and more encouraging preview for Aquaman fans.
- This Page: The Problems With The First Aquaman Trailer
- Page 2: What Aquaman's Comic-Con Footage Does Better
The Problems With The First Aquaman Trailer
The main issue, or at least the most problematic in regards to the Aquaman trailer is pacing, particularly the pacing expected of films of this size, this epic tone, and this fantasy genre. Rather than drawing the audience in or slowly hooking their curiosity, the trailer begins by explicitly stating the origin story of Aquaman, thrusting the viewer into flashbacks to Arthur Curry's parents. Through disembodied narration, Momoa outlines the facts: his father was a lighthouse keeper, and his mother a queen.
It gets the message across, but doesn't do it with any real nuance or subtlety, and the same goes for the Harry Potter-esque discovery that Arthur can control marine life (with some shark and fish special effects we hope get some polish, and a sweeping shot of glowing-eyed Arthur that hopefully fits better in the finished cut).
It's an awkward introduction, since audiences are likely here to see Jason Momoa as introduced in BvS and Justice League, not his parents or his grade school memories.
Thankfully the trailer shifts quickly into action, after giving a quick one-liner from the Aquaman we know and love. Unfortunately, the shots that follow are mixed with exposition that results in something of a mess. Arthur has a half brother, there's a war coming to the surface world, tidal waves, Arthur must be king instead, fighting on a submarine, a gladiator match, a Black Manta with a giant helmet and glowing red eyes... And through it all, Aquaman seems like the butt of jokes, incapable of taking things seriously, and little more than the thrill-seeking, hollering pummeler from Batman V Superman's final act.
He's supposed to be the hero, but "doesn't think," quips about redheads, can't stop 'yeehaw-ing,' gets a clunker of a punchline noting "the worst peptalk... ever," and defines his first looks at Atlantis as "badass!" Watching only the trailer, one could ask why the movie isn't called Mera, since she's the one dragging the supposed hero along his journey. At the very least, the trailer makes it seem like the Aquaman from BvS has been given his own movie spinoff-- and not that Arthur is the star of his own movie, his own story, in a corner of the DC Universe where he is, literally, king.
These problems are all addressed in the additional footage shown exclusively to Hall H attendees. But for those looking to remain SPOILER free - even if the trailers aren't home runs as a result - then read no further.