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In Aquaman, Patrick Wilson plays King Orm, the Ocean Master and Arthur Curry's half-brother who is the main antagonist of the film. If you've seen the trailers, you know that Orm gets to wear some really badass-looking Atlantean armor over the course of the movie. One of those costumes underwent a last minute change that Patrick Wilson really loved, as he explained:
You want to move fluidly and swim and we found that you couldn't really see the arms a lot when you got these big shoulder armor on. So we put these tracking marks on there, thinking 'Oh, they'll put them on in post' and they actually didn't, which I think is kind of cool. I keep forgetting to tell James about this. So we're left with just this sort of chest plate that wasn't the original design but I think they just liked seeing the shoulder movement cause it helped sell the swimming aspect of it.
Patrick Wilson was wearing practical costumes for his role as King Orm in the film, and by and large they allowed him to move freely. But once the armor came on, in particular the shoulder pads, his movement became limited-- making it difficult to mime swimming. So as Patrick Wilson told CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell in an exclusive interview at the Aquaman junket, to compensate for that, they just put tracking marks on instead of the shoulder pads.
The assumption was that the shoulder armor would then be added digitally in post, but they ultimately decided not to. Although this went against the film's original design for his character, Patrick Wilson loved this choice and thinks that it was probably done because it makes the swimming look better.
The actors were suspended by wires and swam through air for the swimming in this film, so it is not real swimming. By having his shoulder's unobscured by shoulder pads, physical or digital, Patrick Wilson was able to not only move freely, but you can actually see the range of his movement. The end result makes the swimming look more natural and real. And for a movie called Aquaman, it is important that the swimming was up to par.
You can check out Patrick Wilson's full discussion with Sean about Orm's costumes in the video below:
It would be interesting to hear if what Patrick Wilson surmises is the actual reason that the shoulder armor was not inserted digitally, or if it was a happy mistake. Whatever the reason, it seems that they went with a less is more approach for Orm's costume in the film. This is a choice Patrick Wilson, who is no stranger to superhero costumes after playing Nite Owl in Watchmen, is on board with.
There is also something to be said for a villain that isn't necessarily covered in armor and a hulking brute, but is instead lithe and strong. It's a more minimalistic approach, and still coming off as imposing and deadly.
It also in a way makes him look more like Aquaman himself, and shows Orm doesn't doesn't need all these advantages to be the hero's physical equal and rival in combat.
You can see Patrick Wilson's King Orm when Aquaman dives into theaters on December 21st. After you've seen the film, be sure to come back and read our breakdown of the post-credits scene. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule for all the biggest movies looking to make a splash next year and for more exclusive movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.