The Aquaman movie doesn’t open in theaters until December of this year, but screen testings have already been done to gauge audience reactions. Comicbook reports that the consensus is positive overall, but not groundbreaking enough for today’s level of superhero cinema.
One reviewer even likened the film to Marvel’s Phase 1 movies, which means that fans of the earlier Marvel films are likely to enjoy this new DC offering. That’s a good sign at least, considering that BTG Lifestyle previously listed Aquaman as one of 2018’s blockbuster movies that is destined to disappoint.
Here’s the official Aquaman synopsis released by Warner Bros. Pictures:
“From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime — one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.“
Aquaman’s origin story actually takes place after the events of 2017’s Justice League, and can be considered a standalone film. The production team has also stated that it isn’t as dark as other DC movies, unlike Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013) and Batman Vs. Superman (2016). Additionally, they claim that the movie is extremely faithful to the comic.
Having said that, of course two-thirds of the film will take place underwater. Actor Jason Momoa shared in an interview that the underwater scenes feel like battles in outer space. Wan planned to give the movie an authentic feel, hence the team’s decision to use more practical effects than computer-generated ones. Many of the sequences were also actually shot underwater, which Wan describes as a “very technically challenging shoot.”
Wan insisted on helming Aquaman because he wanted to present a superhero character that “no one has seen before.” Aquaman may be a prominent figure in the world of DC comics, but he isn’t exactly iconic — at least not yet. Wan’s approach to Aquaman will certainly be something to look forward to, since we have yet to see an underwater-based superhero on the big screen.
With the superhero blockbuster phenomenon still at its peak, there’s no telling how far Aquaman will reach in terms of popularity and exposure on various entertainment mediums. Even now, we’re already getting subtle tributes to the character on independent platforms.
For instance, European gaming provider Slingo is a portal that hosts an array of browser games that often takes inspiration from popular superhero franchises. Several titles allude to Aquaman, or another version of him, such as King of Atlantis and Secrets of Atlantis. While these games feature the image of the traditional king of the seas, they more or less pique players’ interests on what the ruler of the underwater world may be like. As we’ve seen with more prominent superheroes and antagonists, there are many ways superheroes can be reimagined in different forms of media, for which there are no limits. With the release of the new Aquaman movie, our perception of an underwater king may evolve, and might surprise us.
With the new Aquaman movie, James Wan aims to take the DC character to mainstream consciousness. This is his first superhero movie project, and it seems like the team will follow the optimistic and heroic tone of Wonder Woman (2017).
We’re still skeptical about the film, especially knowing Warner Bros.’ history of meddling with the DC franchise. We’ll just have to wait until December to see if Wan and Mamoa’s Arthur Curry will prove us wrong.
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