Warning: Includes SPOILERS for Aquaman.
Jason Momoa has already played the titular hero in DC's live-action Aquaman twice before in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, but he's just now been given the character's first proper origin story ever on the big screen. The latest DC adaptation introduces Arthur Curry to a modern audience - with plenty of additional modern touches itself.
The DCEU has breathed new life into classic superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and Aquaman is the latest to literally get his feet wet in the super-powered cinematic universe. In Aquaman, Arthur isn't just on a quest for the King's Trident or a place on the throne, but to discover how he's just as much a hero as any of the other aforementioned DC titans. During a junket interview for Aquaman, Momoa talked about what it took to win over audiences with a new interpretation of Arthur Curry, what sort of things he hopes to see in the sequels, and what it means to be a hero.
Related: Amber Heard Interview: Aquaman
So, it's been a few years since you were cast as Arthur. Five years. How much of a role did you play in kind of collaborating with Zack - and, in this case, James - to set Arthur apart from the comic version?
Both the directors were phenomenal at taking ideas and what I wanted to put in it, but Zack really set the tone for it and had the right flavors that I wanted, so his pitch made me want to play it. I think- you know, we don't really get to Aquaman - or the King of Atlantis - until the last frames of this movie, so, you know, there's three movies of the reluctant hero; flawed, rascal, just all this stuff that I find very attractive in being, you know- Zack wanted to make him a badass, wanted to make him an outlaw, wanted him to be just not accepted by anyone. So, I mean, that stuff is fun - to be flawed. So... and then James, in turn, built a world that is so beautiful, and then let that same character go back to his roots, which then you can see a softer side, how he would act around his pops, and, you know, he- same thing... reluctant. But he gets his butt kicked the whole movie. Really, there were moments where I was like, "James..." And he just gets beat up to the point where he wants to give up, and that's still an amazing, vulnerable thing - where Mera's stronger than him. And then, finally, it's the people around him that believe in him so much, which is just true in life, you know? To be a king, you need a kingdom, and your family that believes in you.
In the movie, they actually- you guys talk about the distinction between being a king and being a hero. How important was it- or what is it... Why is it important for you, coming into this movie, to portray a hero on screen?
Well, it's saving the world. I mean, it's like saving his family; he's given it his all, and he can't win. He just doesn't have the power to do that, and he has to humble himself and go, "This is why I'm here. This is what- I'm just trying to do my best and save the world." But he doesn't have the power to do it, so... You know, "king" is just bloodline. Doesn't mean- I mean, most kings are a**holes. So, I mean, just because you're a bloodline doesn't make you an amazing human being. I think you have a loss of perspective on what the society is and what your public requires, so I think I'd rather be a hero. But, now, to be a hero/king...
Is there something from the comics that - in a perfect world, perfect scenario - you can tackle in the sequels? Whether it's a storyline, character arc...
You know, I could spit a bunch of different ideas, but the truth of it is, it's going to come down to James and Warner and everyone. But if I just talk about- the family's reunited, I'm in love - I mean, who knows if there's... babies. I think it needs to have a tremendous loss. My brother's still alive; I'm probably going to have take advice - you know, there's going to be lessons learned by him. Manta's still on the loose. There's for certain death- I mean, there's things I want to see, because Arthur- You know, it's even fun to watch Arthur go to... because his human side is equally as magical as his Atlantean side, because that's what gives him his empathy, but also can steer him down the wrong path. Like, I've covered up by drinking and not wanting to expect certain things, so that's his human, flawed side. And, I think there's- it's fun to go down that path, and it's also fun to abuse your power. There's just a lot of things. He's king now. To roll up to the Justice League, and his perspective now is just like, "I've got a trident you can't take off of me now, and it's got some power." When Zack first told me, he's like, "The only thing that can cut Superman is the King's Trident." That's how strong that thing is, so... I'm the only one that can have it, because he's the rightful heir, but- not that I want to do that. But it's just to say that he can definitely mess up some stuff. The old trident didn't work as well. You know? He could mess up Steppenwolf a little easier now.
Can I just ask one really quick question?
Absolutely not, Screen Rant!
How much Guinness did you go through during that bar scene?
That was a fun scene. But that wasn't really Guinness.
It wasn't really? OK. Because I know you're a fan, right?
Oh, I'm a fan all right. But that wasn't Guinness at all.
Probably dangerous to do that on set.
That would be, wouldn't it?
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018