Even though Clark Kent didn't officially become Superman until the latter half of Man of Steel, the Kryptonian was already engaging in acts of heroism. For instance, while working as a fisherman, Clark rescued several workers from a collapsing oil rig out in the ocean, but he was knocked into the water after ensuring everyone got out okay. Fortunately, Clark drifted back to shore, and since Man of Steel's release, a fan theory has made the rounds speculating that it was Aquaman who saved him. Four years later, Jason Momoa has confirmed that this theory is legitimate, learning as such from director Zack Snyder. According to Momoa:
In Man of Steel, when Henry [Cavill] is saving the oil rig and he's holding that up, and all of a sudden he kind of floats up on the ocean, he's [Zack] like 'I had Aquaman save him so that they did cross paths at one point.' So then when Bruce goes 'You ever heard of...Superman?' I have met him and we have crossed paths.
Although Man of Steel kicked off the DC Extended Universe, there was little setup to the wider mythology of this world, which makes sense considering the franchise was still in its infancy. It's unclear from Jason Momoa's comment to DC All Access if Zack Snyder had always considered Aquaman to have an indirect presence in Man of Steel or if he retroactively decided this after the movie's release, like how Peter Parker ended up being the boy Tony Stark saved at the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2. Either way, it's a cool Easter egg that adds an interesting layer of connectivity between Superman and Aquaman, even if Clark wasn't conscious during this bonding experience. It's just a shame Aquaman wasn't around to help out the citizens of Metropolis during General Zod's attack.
Aquaman made his first on-screen DCEU appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he was one of several metahuman subjects on Lex Luthor's computer files. On the video footage, Arthur Curry destroyed the camera that was tracking him at a ship wreckage and then swam away at super sonic speed. Justice League, however, will fully introduce Jason Momoa's Aquaman to the masses, although as the Justice League previews have shown, he's hesitant to join the superhero team when initially approached by Batman. While Justice League will chronicle Arthur becoming one of Earth's greatest protectors, next year's Aquaman movie will show him embracing his royal Atlantean duties as he deals with enemies like Black Manta and Ocean Master.
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We'll see how Jason Momoa's Aquaman fares in battle when Justice League hits theaters this Friday, November 17, and the solo Aquaman movie will follow on December 21, 2018. Don't forget to see what other projects this franchise has coming down the pipeline in our DC movies guide.