Aquaman director James Wan says the film won’t try to juggle three separate villains and confirms that Ocean Master is the main antagonist. Jason Momoa’s look as Aquaman was unveiled a couple years ago, but it wasn’t until last month’s Justice League that we finally got a sense of him as a character. Even then, the movie didn’t spend much time on the reluctant ruler and audiences were only provided with a brief glimpse at Atlantis. All of that will change this time next year, when Wan brings the world of Arthur Curry to life.
With Aquaman having already wrapped production, fans have begun to speculate about what the exact plot of the film will be. The movie is confirmed to include three characters – Patrick Wilson as Orm aka. Ocean Master, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus – that could potentially function as villains in the film’s narrative. However, according to Wan, that won’t be the case.
EW spoke with Wan about Aquaman and asked how many full-blown villains will actually be in the film. Here is what Wan had to offer on the topic:
“This is what I’ll say: I don’t have three villains. I think that’s ridiculous! I would never go into an origin movie with three villains. We don’t even know the main character let alone the world and its antagonist. I believe in taking baby steps.”
It’s certainly heartening to hear Wan isn’t positioning Orm, Black Manta, and Nereus alike as primary villains in the Aquaman film. In all likelihood, both Manta and Nereus will merely be agitators acting on the sidelines, with the former serving as a general for Aquaman’s half-brother Orm. It’s that very character, which Patrick Wilson is still excited to play, that will provide Arthur with the most trouble, according to Wan:
“I want to introduce Arthur Curry in a much more emotional and powerful way, and introduce Mera played by Amber Heard, and of course there’s Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison playing his parents. We know Black Manta is in there, but I will say this: Patrick Wilson is the main antagonist in this film. I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘villain,’ but he’s the antagonist.”
We’ve heard before that Orm aka Ocean Master will be an antagonist rather than a villain. Likely, all this means is Wan wants him to come across as more complex and less mustache-twirling. In the comics, Orm certainly has some legitimate reasons for opposing Aquaman, so we could see a Thor/Loki relationship blossom between the two onscreen. Nereus, meanwhile, probably won’t be too big of a presence even if he does clash with Arthur. As for Black Manta, Aquaman could just be the tip of the iceberg.
We’ve heard the DCEU has plans for the Legion of Doom, something that was set up at the end of Justice League. Given that, Aquaman could easily feature a similar post-credits scene where Black Manta is offered a chance to enter the big time with Lex Luthor and Deathstroke. That will have to remain speculation for the time being, but it’s good to know Aquaman will be less about the villains than the titular hero.
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