It's an exciting time for Aquaman star Jason Momoa. The DC film hasn't fully opened in theaters just yet, but in China -- where the film has been out for a week -- it's smashing box office records. Early reviews of the film have been largely positive as well and fans are pumped to see the King of the Seven Seas make his solo big screen debut next week. But even with the buzz and excitement, Momoa hasn't forgotten the man who helped him have this moment: Zack Snyder.
In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Momoa reflected on Snyder's contributions to the DC Extended Universe and noted that he owes everything to Snyder thanks to his vision and plans for the iconic comic book character.
"He had it all planned out," Momoa said. "He had the plan for Justice League. I really do believe that Cyborg and Wonder Woman, and all that has been shaped, is because of Zack. I'm definitely here and owe everything to that man because I wouldn't have been cast if not for him. I think that it was a genius idea to go in this direction with this character, and it's been an honor. I've had people from all over the world -- people from Argentina, people from Colombia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, just all over, telling me 'How crazy and cool is this to have a brown-skinned superhero?'"
As DC fans know, Snyder departed Justice League due to a family tragedy with Joss Whedon coming on board to complete the film. While that situation has continued to be a source of complex debate over how much of Snyder's vision was completed (and whether a "Snyder cut" of Justice League exists,) the director's influence certainly continues, both when it comes to the choice of casting Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman and in an executive producer credit on the Aquaman film. Still, Momoa's comments about how instrumental Snyder was to his getting to be Aquaman drives home that the director's fingerprints remain -- on the characters, the films, and the actors themselves. It's something Momoa has spoken about before as well.
"When something happens like that, I really couldn't give two sh*ts about the movie," Momoa explained in a previous interview. "Zack is someone who kind of saved my life. This opportunity to be where I am is all because of him. So if you like Aquaman, you can pretty much thank Zack Snyder instantly, because none of it would've come true if it weren't for him."
Fans can also thank Snyder for the diversity Momoa brings to the Aquaman role.
"I was in shock because I know what Aquaman originally looked like," Momoa said. "[Snyder] really liked what I did with Game of Thrones, and he really wanted someone who's a bit of an outlaw. someone who's an outsider, you know, or half and half. He knew that I was from Hawaii and raised in Iowa."
And when it comes to giving actors who might not have otherwise been considered a chance in the world of Aquaman? Momoa took a page from Snyder's book himself. Temuera Morrison, who plays Aquaman's father in the film, credits Momoa with his role in the film.
"Jason gave me the nod for Aquaman, just as an opportunity to meet me. I think Once Were Warriors really moved him in a way both in terms of his culture and his own identity," Morrison, who is himself of Māori descent, shared with New Zealand's Stuff. "I think it shook him up a bit. I even heard him say a few words to his kids when they visited the set: 'This is the fella who get me into the business kids'. He really respected my performance."
He added, "He's taken care of me that's for sure."
Aquaman arrives in theaters on December 21, 2018.