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How Dolph Lundgren Got His Aquaman Role, According To James Wan

Dolph Lundgren

While Justice League is ready to bring DC greatest heroes together, there may be no upcoming DC movie more star studded than Aquaman. Dolph Lundgren is just one of the names currently filming the undersea adventure. However, this is by far the biggest movie the actor has made in years. So how did Lundgren go from Expendables ensemble player to a major comic book movie? Director James Wan says it all came about because a fellow director was singing the praises of the actor after working with him. According to Wan...

When I was in the process of writing this character in the world of Aquaman, a friend of mine, [director] Mike Mendez, was working with him on one of his films, and Mike was just raving about how great Dolph was. And I thought 'Oh my god, Dolph would be great for this role as well!' So it kinda came about from that roundabout way.

While Dolph Lundgren is probably still best know for his very early role as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, the performance has kept Lundgren working in Hollywood ever since. Having said that, a lot of the movies fall into the "direct to video movie you've never heard of" category. However, as it turns out, those projects can actually lead to much bigger jobs. Mike Mendez directed Dolph Lundgren in the recent movie Don't Kill It and you probably didn't even know that movie existed. However, Lundgren was apparently so great in the movie that Mendez felt a need to tell his friend James Wan about it, which put the actor's name in Wan's mind. Without this conversation, Wan seems to imply that he might never have considered Lundgren for the role of King Nereus.

James Wan tells The Hollywood Reporter that Dolph Lundgren has a "regal" quality to him that makes him perfect to play King Nereus. He also praises the actor for how seriously he takes the craft of acting. These two ideas likely go hand in hand. When Lundgren shows up to the set and is ready to work hard, it can certainly come across as being "regal" especially when you're as big as Ivan Drago.

It's not surprising that Lundgren takes her performance seriously. He has a master's degree in chemical engineering and you don't get one of those without being able to work hard and take it seriously. It sounds like Lundgren takes his work just as seriously if he's doing a major studio picture or a direct to video action flick. No wonder directors like working with him.

Dolph Lundgren co-stars in Aquaman alongside Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard. The film is set for release December 21, 2018.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.