HBO Max is developing a version of Aqualad origin story, You Brought Me the Ocean. Variety reports that the DC Comic series has been slated as a one-hour comedy featuring the same characters from Alex Sanchez and Jul Maroh's graphic novel. In this telling, Jackson Hyde lives in New Mexico. He's always wanted to escape the desert and be near the ocean. Over time, Hyde develops abilities like being able to control water and being able to breathe beneath the waves. But, things get a little strange as he falls for the local high school swim captain Kenny Liu. Charlize Theron, Ben Kono, A.J. Dix and Andrew Haas of Denver & Delilah Films are slated to executive produce.
Comicbook.com previously spoke to both Sanchez and Maroh about the graphic novel. The artist explained how they approached Aqualad for such a fresh interpretation.
"DC wanted Alex and me to put a fresh spin on Jake's character, so with that in mind, I was able to explore many creative ideas through the artwork," Maroh said. "When I came on to the project, Alex had already shaped Jake's teen-aged personality. I did my best to emphasize his vision of the story and characters through my designs. Alex and I share similar storytelling styles, which reinforced our partnership. For example, his script was very detailed in describing facial expressions and gestures, which is how I approach my own stories."
In some other comments, Sanchez laid out the philosophy of why this had to be a story about Jake.
"Well for me, I got an email from DC and I was like, wait a minute, is this a joke? It was the way I learned it happened was at DC they were rolling out a new line of graphic novels, reaching out to new audiences that may not be the historic sort of traditional comic book readers. They're trying to broaden their audience and reach out to more people," Sanchez recalled. "They also wanted these books, as novels, to stand as more, to be more than just superhero stories, to have more, shall we say, more emotional aspects to them, more dealing with real life, teen issues, real life issues for young people growing up. To have these sort of superheroes dealing with those real life issues. So that was hugely appealing to me and similar to what you said that then you can read it. It has all these different aspects but it's not just about super powers but that it has these other dimensions."
"So in any case, they reached out to me and they had this character, Aqualad, who as you well know, a lot of these characters they go through different iterations and versions of it over the decades. So in at least a couple previous versions I think the character had identified as gay. So then they reached out to me," they continued. "Apparently they asked around and said who would be a good YA author to write about a story with a gay character and deal with aspects of sexuality as an issue that young people deal with. So that's how they came across me. They reached out to me and I had a big gulp and ... Not a big gulp like at 7-11. I took a huge breath and said okay, yeah sure I'll try this."
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