The ‘Aquaman’ Film Will Save the DCEU: Here’s Why

After much anticipation, a ton of talk, and some reshoots, Justice League finally hit theaters. Unfortunately, fans and critics alike were not pleased with the results. Though the film was set to be the DC Extended Universe’s response to Marvel’s Avengers, the shaky plot, less-than-steller villain, and strange tone left many fans puzzled.

It appears that audiences weren’t the only ones who were left disappointed by Justice League. According to Variety, Warner Bros. was not happy, and it’s now set to make some major changes — including switching up their executive team as a result. Still, it would be foolish to count the DCEU out because of a few flops. The Jason Momoa-led Aquaman will swim into theaters in December 2018, and it’s going to save the DCEU from itself.

Faith in a character

Jason Momoa is Aquaman

Jason Momoa is Aquaman. | Warner Bros.

Despite Warner Bros.’ grievances with Justice League, the studio was thrilled with two things in the film: Ezra Miller’s the Flash and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman.

Momoa knows how to make a character memorable (we all recall Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones), so we have faith that Warner Bros. and the DCEU will be pulling out all the stops for the actor and his solo film.

Goodbye interconnectivity

Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg in Justice League

Will Aquaman make for as strong a solo hero as his pal Wonder Woman? | Warner Bros

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman was such a success, in part because the film was not concerned with forcing Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince to interact and connect with other superheroes in the DCEU. Instead, we got a rock solid origin story that focused on the princess of the Amazons and how she viewed the world.

Let’s hope Arthur Curry aka Aquaman gets the same special treatment.

Letting go of the reigns

Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was micromanaged by the studio. | Warner Bros.

One of the issues that the DCEU seems to be having, specifically with films like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, is that Warner Bros. micromanaged the films to death. Marvel has been super successful under Disney because the studio gives Marvel its freedom. The company seems to trust its directors, which allows each filmmaker to put their own unique stamp on the film.

Just look at what Taika Waititi did for the Thor franchise with Thor: Ragnarok and what Ryan Coogler did with Black Panther.


A beach in Australia where Aquaman was filmed

The movie was filmed in beautiful locations like this one. | James Wan via Instagram

Like Wonder Woman’s Paradise Island, Aquaman’s homeland Atlantis is otherworldly. This gives the DCEU the opportunity to construct an underwater world onscreen unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

At the very least, we should get a solid two hours of watching Momoa walk and swim shirtless. That should be enough for Aquaman to win every cinematic award out there.

The man behind the camera

James Wan

James Wan | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

One thing the DCEU already did perfectly for Aquaman was picking the right director. Furious 7 and Saw director James Wan is the man behind the camera. A director of color who has proven more than once that he can bang out a killer film, we don’t see much going wrong here.

Patrick Wilson, who is set to star in the film as Aquaman’s villainous half-brother Ocean Master, spoke about his faith in Wan for Aquaman and in Jenkins for Wonder Woman 2. He told the Metro, “As a fan, I sit back and see the choices that they make for directors and they are very strong, focused, individual directors and that takes confidence. It easy to hire someone that is just a yes man. And they’re certainly not, which is very exciting.”

A reluctant hero

Aquaman in Justice League Comic-Con Trailer

We’re poised to learn a lot more about this character. | Warner Bros.

Arthur Curry is such a compelling protagonist because he’s complicated. He’s both reluctant and passionate.

In Justice League: The Art of the FilmMomoa explained,“When we find Arthur, he’s hiding on the edges of society. He knows what his power is, but he doesn’t know how to channel it. He hasn’t accepted himself as king. He’s been running from both sides, human and Antlantean, and he’s been really that outlaw and renegade and the rebel.”

It’s always best when the audience can relate to a superhero’s humanity. With such a poignant origin story, Aquaman is already on the right track.

Entertaining to the core

Comic book cartoon of Aquaman walking as people stare at him

We’re counting on this origin story to be as entertaining as those in the comics. | DC Comics

One of the things that hurt Justice League was the fact that it wasn’t very fun. Nobody goes to the theaters to see superhero movies that are dark and dreary; audiences go to be entertained.

However, Wann is determined to change that with Aquaman. He has promised fans a “swashbuckling action-adventure, sort of high seas adventure story.”

Actor Ludi Lin who plays Murk, a general of the Atlantean army, told a Canadian radio station that the film is basically, “Star Wars underwater.” Sounds awesome to us.

Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.

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