This should be obvious, but there are SPOILERS for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice below. You’ve been warned.
As the title implies, a big part of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is laying the groundwork for the burgeoning DC Extended Universe and leading into the Justice League movies. We spend the most time with Batman and Superman (obviously), and Wonder Woman plays a small but substantial role. However, a number of other comic book characters that will be important show up in quick glimpses.
The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman all have cameos and are part of Lex Luthor’s list of meta-humans, and all will figure prominently in the Justice League movies and get their own solo adventures. However, after watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the one I’m most excited to see is Aquaman, and I can’t wait to see more from the King of Atlantis on the big screen, played by Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa, in both his team up and solo adventures. Here’s why.
The Character Will Finally Get His DueRightly or wrongly, Aquaman has often been portrayed in popular culture as something rather silly. (It’s hard to consider the character and not immediately think of that Saturday Night Live skit where the other Justice League members mock him and tell him to go talk to some fish.) That, of course, is not the case; the King of Atlantis has a long, rich history in the comics, and especially in the New 52 stories, he’s a badass. We only catch a quick glimpse of him in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but what we see definitely indicates that this Aquaman will not be the butt of anyone’s jokes. Jason Momoa’s incarnation of the character looks tough as nails and cool as hell, and though director James Wan has promised a "fun" tone in comparison to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, rest assured that Aquaman will not be someone to trifle with, either as part of the Justice League or on his own.
He's Unlike Any Superhero We've Had To DateAt this point, we’ve had dozens of superhero movies and TV shows over the years, but, much like Wonder Woman, Aquaman promises to be something unlike anything we’ve seen before on the big or small screen. (The closest comparison I can come up with is the short-lived, Patrick Duffy-starring Man from Atlantis, which I loved, but is ridiculous and nothing like Aquaman.) We don’t know much of what the plot of the 2018 movie entails—we’ll likely have more of an idea after he shows up in the Justice League: Part One—but given the deep sea setting, the hidden underwater society, Aquaman’s particular set of skills and abilities, and the fact that he’s a goddamned king, Aquaman is going to be very, very different from your typical superhero movie.
FunOne of the biggest criticisms lobbed at the DC Extended Universe thus far is that the tone is dark and dreary and overly serious. We’ve heard that the Justice League movies, and the solo Flash film, will have a different, lighter tone, and recently director James Wan said that his Aquaman will be more "fun," though what exactly that means remains to be seen. Not that there’s anything wrong with the more somber feel of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s nice to know that not every installment of the DCEU will have the exact same feel. That gets old no matter what it entails, whether it’s bright and bouncy or shadowy and glum. And Wan has also said that there will be plenty of cool, crazy sea creatures to behold, and what’s not to love about that?
James WanThough he has big blockbuster experience—his Furious 7 earned well over a billion dollars last year—James Wan is an interesting choice to direct Aquaman. Not only is this a much different story in a much different setting than most superhero movies, but Wan’s background is generally in low-to-mid-budget horror films like Saw, The Conjuring, and others. The idea of him bringing that genre sensibility and his skill with creeps and scares to the superhero realm sounds like an intriguing, promising mix. We’ve seen both Wan’s horror and action chops, and the mixture of those two aesthetics, especially in regard to the sea monsters he’s talked about including and the underwater setting (at least in part), sounds too damn perfect to pass up. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us with Aquaman.