You expect a lot of easter eggs in comic book movies, but one reference in Aquaman apparently wasn't meant for the comic reading public. Instead, it looks like James Wan may have included one specific joke in the movie for nobody except fellow director Edgar Wright. The Baby Driver director personally offered James Wan his very own Oscar if he would drop in a reference to the 1960s puppet-led TV show Stingray and now Wright apparently needs to live up to his end of the deal.
The reference is a brief one, and something that only those familiar with the old show would likely notice, but James Wan took this challenge and did indeed include it in Aquaman. The scene is very early in the movie. Arthur Curry's future father Tom has discovered the injured body of Atlanna outside his lighthouse. He helps her inside the building and it briefly loses power due to the storm outside. Atlanna comes to and throws Tom up against a wall just as the power returns. When it does, we get a brief glimpse of an aquatic-themed TV show on the old television. That shot is from the opening title sequence of Stingray. Atlanna doesn't care for it. She throws her trident through the screen.
Edgar Wright has apparently heard that the reference is in the film, though he says on Twitter he has yet to experience the moment for himself. Of course, where Edgar Wright is going to find an Oscar is anybody's guess. The director has yet to even be nominated for one himself, so he doesn't have one to give over. While Aquaman might stand a chance of winning an Oscar in a visual effects category, it seems unlikely Wan himself will win one.
Anybody who actually recognized the opening of Stingray was probably more than a little surprised to see such a random show in the movie. It only ran for one season. so the show wasn't exactly a pop culture phenomenon. The show was created by the same people behind another puppet-focused British series, Thunderbirds, which is a title that is a bit better known. It's unclear if James Wan is actually all that familiar with the show. He never actually made a public reply to Edgar Wright's initial tweet, but he clearly saw it.
If you were wondering why such a random TV show was used for the scene, now you know. If you had no idea what show Tom Curry was watching, now you do. We'll have to wait and see what Edgar Wright does to make good on his bet. You can probably find Oscars made out of chocolate or something. He could also commission his own statue, as long as the Academy never ever saw it because that's probably a lawsuit waiting to happen.
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