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It’s been nearly a year since the release of Aquaman and fans have been waiting with bated breath for the follow-up to the 2018 film. But, unfortunately, they might be waiting for a while because Jason Momoa is refusing to shoot the scenes. Here’s why.

Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Momoa is protesting a serious issue in Hawaii

The actor is protesting the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) construction happening atop the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii — and he’s using the highly-anticipated film to do so. He broke the news on Aug. 8 with an Instagram post directed to Warner Brothers. “Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot Aquaman 2,” he wrote. “Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land.”

For those who are unaware, scientists are hoping to build the world’s largest telescope on the island. Astronomers say it’s the best place on Earth to observe space, but Native Hawaiians argue that the land is sacred and should not be tampered with. “If we can’t access our own gods, our own spirituality, isn’t that wrong?” protestor Rhonda Vincent told NBC News.

According to NPR, planning for the project kicked off in 2009 and it received its first permit in 2011. However, the construction of the TMT was halted in 2014 amid protests. But it didn’t last. Construction resumed back in July.

It’s not the first time Momoa has protested the TMT construction

According to Fox News, Momoa joined locals protesting the $1.4 billion dollar project on July 31. He reportedly told the crowd he was honored to be there, adding, “We are not going anywhere.”

“I’m so very honored to be here … to bring my children and all my ohana [family] here,” Momoa said. “There’s one thing that’s not going to happen. That telescope’s not being built here.”

The same day, another Hawaiian actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson backed the protesters on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “This mountain is their church. It would be like building on this church.” Johnson told the host. “This is so much bigger than a telescope being built. … This is human beings who are hurting.”

What fans are saying about Momoa’s comments

You’d think fans would be kinda bummed that Momoa said he won’t do the film until TMT construction stops, but the reactions are quite the opposite.

Many people flocked to his comment section to share warm words and express their support for his decision. “True hero. An actor standing for something that actually matters,” one person wrote. “[You are] a hero for using your platform to speak out about this!!! We love you and we will always be fighting this right along with you!” commented another.

But, of course, there are some who aren’t too happy about his decision. “Sorry, but this looks like a tiny construction for a lot of value,” one person said.

Someone else couldn’t get over Momoa potentially delaying Aquaman 2, writing, “Excuse me?”

It doesn’t seem like Momoa can actually put the film off, though, as he’s contractually obligated to shoot it. But fans will be waiting either way, considering the film won’t hit theaters until 2022. 

In the meantime, keep checking his social media for updates.