'Aquaman' Director Explains Who The Drum-Playing Octopus Really Is

A visual spectacle at the least, Aquaman included shot after shot of incredible visual effects. That includes a cameo from Topo, a monstrous octopus that just so happens to be quite the musician.

Thought to be a fun Easter egg nodding to a classic Aquaman supporting character, Aquaman director James Wan recently revealed that the decision to include Topo wasn't just an Easter egg. Rather, it was a cameo — potentially hinting at the character's inclusion in future films.

Speaking with the Huffington Post, Wan explained some of the thoughts that went into the decision to include Topo in the latest DC Extended Universe film.

"If you Google 'topo aquaman,' you see all these really goofy characters of this octopus playing musical instruments," Wan explained. "So I'm like, 'OK, how do I take that and bring it into my movie and make it cool?'"

"It just makes it fun right off the bat," the director elaborates. "When you see that you're like, 'Wow, I'm in a different kind of superhero movie.'"

Topo is one of Arthur Curry's longest-serving allies, first appearing in Adventure Comics #229, the character was originally portrayed as a musician of sorts, playing anything from the drums to guitar. Created by Ramona Fradon, the character was gone through three major iterations in its existence in DC Comics lore. As of recent, the "New 52" reboot of the character portrayed Topo as a half-octopus, half-crab hybrid that could only be summoned using Curry's telepathy

The character also appeared in one episode of the animated Young Justice series, voiced by Ratchet & Clank alum James Arnold Taylor. In the live-action Aquaman film, Topo can be seen playing drums as Arthur (Jason Momoa) and Orm (Patrick Wilson) fight each other in the ring of Fire climax.

Amongst all different kinds of sea creatures, the decision to include Topo follows suit with Wan's want of making Aquaman a stand-alone spectacle flick.


"It was very important for me early on to be allowed to make my own film and to have my own voice be in there," Wan previously said to ComicBook.com. "It was very important for me to be able to bring my own stamp, my own visual aesthetic, create the characters. Even though Jason has somewhat been established Justice League, I wanted to bring his character into this, basically, fresh in a lot of ways."

Aquaman is in theaters now. Other upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Shazam! on April 5th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.