How ‘Aquaman’ Will Change Perspective of the DC Comics Character Forever

Aquaman_Set
(Photo: Warner Bros.)

When Aquaman surfaces in December, James Wan's DC Comics movie will use Jason Momoa to redefine the character and command respect from audiences.

When ComicBook.com visited the Australian set of the film back in July of 2017, the message was clear: Wan wanted to deliver an isolated introduction to a hero like never before. The director is injected his stamp into action sequences, cleverly crafted underwater settings, and is delivering a bad-ass hero who wasn't always thought of in such a way.

"I think one of the things that really drew James [Wan] to Aquaman was the kind of underdog nature of him as a superhero," producer Peter Safran said. "And, I know that after [Furious 7] when he was offered, basically, anything he wanted to do -- he told me, ‘I want to do Aquaman’. And, I had that same reaction that he seems to be one of those superheroes that people do make fun of. But, James loved the idea of turning people’s perceptions of Aquaman on their head. And so, he’s like, ‘Give me all the stuff that you made fun of and I’m gonna turn it on its ear and scare the s--- out of you with it.’ And his feeling also was, it’s Jason Momoa; once it’s Jason Momoa you cannot make fun of this guy. He brings a whole new energy and power to Aquaman and just to the superhero world in general. And I think that that’s one of the things that James embraced most firmly."

Still, the movie will "certainly make a nod to those elements that people make fun of, absolutely," like Aquaman, on the pages of DC Comics, claiming he does not "talk" to fish but "commands" them.

"A lot of people make fun of the fact that you’ve seen images of Aquaman on a sea horse and he’s like, you know what, just look at the sea dragon we’ve created that some of these guys are gonna be riding," Safran said. "They’re absolutely a strong element. James is a guy who I think in many ways has been an underdog as well and I think he’s drawn to that side of how Aquaman is perceived."

Momoa echoed a similar sentiment.

"I think James [Wan] has taken all those fish puns and, really, kind of let me do ‘em," Momoa said. While Wan is known for horror films like The Conjuring, which will certainly be present in the film at times, Aquaman will also bring out some comedic moments. "I think he has an interesting look on what all those fish puns are. The more you look at it, I think it’s not so much that he can talk to fish, but I think when you get to see what he can really do and how powerful the ocean is, I mean...I guess we’ll see who’s laughing then!"

Momoa, a popular actor now known by his fans as a cool dude who enjoys drinking beers and throwing axes (at an impressively simultaneous level), says this Aquaman is "absolutely" a character he would grab a beer with.

"I think I wanted to make him that way," Momoa said. "I think that’s why they kind of hired me to play the role. I mean, he’s serious, but he’s just jaded. He’s just seen so much and he doesn’t really trust anyone. I think it’s all about building the trust and that’s the whole Justice League thing, just being the team."

"You can’t sit down and have a beer with Superman, you know what I mean?" Momoa said. "I wanted Aquaman definitely to be that guy. He’s blue collar. I mean the whole thing about him, I wanted him blue collar, he’s raised with his dad, worked on bikes, worked on old cars with his father and at a certain age he’s given this gift. He doesn’t know how to deal with it. His dad doesn’t want him in the water, ‘cause he doesn’t want him taken away. The only thing he does know is that his mother was killed. He wants nothing to do with these people. F---ing hates ‘em."

While Wan will be building the character and exploring the world where he lives, the film will build on the vision originally implemented by Zack Snyder.

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"I mean, Zack was really clear on, like, ‘I want Outlaw Josey Wales, I want the outsider, I want more than Batman the loner,'" Momoa said. "But, he was great with people that were just living the tides and in these far off little villages and these people just accepted him. He lived in and was with more on the side of the people, so you find him in these remote spots."

Aquaman is set for release on December 21, 2018.