Justice League star Jason Momoa is assuring fans that while his version of Arthur Curry in the DC team up film might seem overly gruff, he's going to be much more fleshed out in next year's Aquaman solo film. The Game of Thrones veteran cameoed as the Atlantean hero in last year's Batman V Superman, and we'll be getting our first proper introduction to the hero in Justice League, where he's recruited by Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to help thwart the evil warlord Steppenwolf, who's come to conquer Earth in the wake of Superman's (Henry Cavill) death.
While fellow new additions like The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) have enjoyed some mainstream recognition through high profile television projects, Aquaman is largely remembered from the cheesy 70's and 80's cartoon Super Friends. One of the DC cinematic universe's bigger tasks was always going to be overhauling Aquaman for a 21st century film audience.
Momoa's casting was an early sign that this would be a decidedly edgier version of Aquaman, owing more to the darker 90s comics version than the orange shirted Super Friends iteration. Momoa credits Justice League director Zack Snyder with convincing him to take on the role, and stresses that Justice League is just a small window into the character's rich world.
It all kind of came from Zack's mind. Aquaman wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. When I stepped into his room he told me his vision for me playing this character. The one thing I was really concerned with when I did my homework, I knew this would basically be, it's a weekend in his life, and I just wanted to make sure the fans knew that this gruff character, this man that lives within the tides and not really accepted in two places, we needed to know where he came from and why he's this grumpy kind of bit of an asshole to Batman.
Momoa explains how Aquaman's blunt personality is setting up the events of his solo film, which will explain the personal trials he's endured over the years.
I want people to know that, in a year, they're going to understand where he came from. What happened to his mother, what happened to his father, and how he was treated in this world and how he didn't know how to use his powers and sometimes he saved people and sometimes he lost people and his human side didn't know how to cope with those things, he'd cover up those things, and so he's hiding behind a lot of, there's a lot of layers to this guy and I think once we do get to the solo film you get to see a man who's going to take responsibility and help the world and become king eventually, so this one, I don't really think that he's, he is Aquaman - he's Arthur Curry - but he hasn't dealt with the trident yet and it's coming, but just stick with it. For the people like "that's not how Aquaman is," just stick with it a little bit longer.
In a movie packed with so many other heroes, it's understandable that Aquaman's world might not be fully explored in Justice League, but it's good to know the character's backstory is at least being acknowledged and the stage is being set for his solo film. The James Wan directed Aquaman solo film is currently the only DC film slated for release in 2018, so DC certainly seems confident that this new version of Arthur Curry is compelling enough to carry their cinematic brand forward on his own, much like the triumphant Wonder Woman did earlier this year. After the critically shaky start to their shared universe with Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, Aquaman's solo success would be the surest sign yet that DC's films are back on track.
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018