'Aquaman' Unleashed: DC Films Hero Aims to Dispel the Doubters

Marcus Errico
Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Entertainment

Still think Aquaman is a joke? Think again.

DC Films introduced its cinematic take on the much-maligned superhero during a preview special Tuesday, and this incarnation aims to dispel any lingering notions of Aquaman as the chump of the Justice League.

He’s just misunderstood.

Related: 4 Reasons Aquaman Deserves More Respect

In between snippets of Batman v Superman and new footage from Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad, The CW’s DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League offered the first concepts of Jason Momoa’s potent hero in action.

Along with the imagery, DC chief creative officer and outspoken Aqua-fan Geoff Johns explained the character, who will surface in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (out March 25) and as part of the team in 2017’s Justice League before fronting an individual big-screen adventure targeted for 2018. 

“His name is Arthur Curry. He is the son of a lighthouse keeper and the queen of Atlantis, and he starts to develop these powers. He can breathe underwater. He can communicate with sea life. He’s very strong.

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“He’s the only one who is both… a human and a god,” says Momoa (Game of Thrones), who will be wielding the trident in the title role of king of the seven seas. “I want to seem him struggle with the fact that he has these powers and doesn’t know how to handle them. He hasn’t been trained.”

Translation: You don’t want to mess with Aquaman.

“He grows up not really feeling like he belongs in either world,” continues Johns. “So he’s a man who is trapped between worlds but has a responsibility protecting both of them.”

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Directed by James Wan (Furious 7, The Conjuring, Saw) with Amber Heard in line to play Arthur’s action-ready wife, Mera, Aquaman is set to swim into theaters on July 17, 2018.

That gives DC and parent studio Warner Bros. more than two years to craft a PR strategy to re-educate a public dubious of Aquaman’s leading-man status. While the character is a force of nature in the comics — especially since a 2012 reboot — many casual fans only know the hero from his cringe-worthy Super Friends cartoon escapades of the 1970s or as long-running punchline on HBO’s Entourage.

Based on Tuesday’s opening salvo, Team Aquaman is off to a good start.