Ahead Of Aquaman 2, Jason Momoa Recalls His Honest Reaction When Zack Snyder Offered Him The Role Of The DC Hero

Jason Momoa in Aquaman and the lost kingdom suit
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Aquaman looks good on Jason Momoa. But let’s be honest here, when the actor was first cast in the role, it was a bit of a surprise. At the time, Momoa was best known for playing Game of Thrones' fierce warlord Khal Drogo, making his nabbing the role of a big league superhero like the king of Atlantis somewhat unexpected. And ahead of the highly anticipated sequel's release, Momoa recalled his own honest reaction when he was first offered the part by Zack Snyder.

Jason Momoa was cast as the aquatic Justice Leaguer in the summer of 2014 to make a cameo in Batman v.. Superman: Dawn of Justice, during the time when Zack Snyder was planting the seeds for his now defunct "Snyderverse". Upon recent reflection of being DC’s Aquaman, the actor shared this:

When Zack told me he wanted me to play Aquaman, I was like, ‘What? that’s like the farthest thing [from what I thought] I would ever be’. Then he laid it out and I thought, ‘Why can’t it be someone of Polynesian descent?’

While speaking to GQ Magazine, the actor speaks of a life loving water and recalls taking a long bus ride to the Florida Keys to study at a marine biology camp as a kid. Additionally, he said his father was “always in the water,” and he’d idolize him and all his uncles and cousins for being surfers. The actor used to take part in the Junior Lifeguard Program and was set to enroll in the University of Hawaii's marine biology program before nabbing his first acting role in Baywatch Hawaii, in which he played a pivotal role for 44 episodes. So in other words, the role is actually perfect for him. 

And yet, neither Jason Momoa nor DC fans may have imagined he’d be the big-screen version of the hero. Nowadays it makes all the sense in the world, considering we've now seen him own the part, and the actor really wears it with responsibility. When he’s not on James Wan's physically demanding Aquaman sets, the actor often uses his platform to be an ocean activist and fight for the preservation of Mauna Kea, a holy spiritual site for native Hawaiians. Momoa also said this in the recent interview: 

Aquaman is the most made-fun-of superhero in the world. But it’s amazing to be able to bring awareness of what is happening to our planet. It’s not some story that’s been told over and over, [it’s a] movie about what’s happening right now but in a fantasy world.

When becoming Aquaman, Jason Momoa dealt with the constant fish jokes that come with being the hero. But the way the actor has taken on the role has certainly made general audiences take the DC character more seriously and see him as a formidable member of the Justice League and a major force the larger DC universe. 

Arthur Curry's next appearance will be in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is among the upcoming DC movies hitting theaters in 2023. The movie will once again star Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman and more in its stacked cast. And as we recently learned, will feature the return of Ben Affleck’s Batman. The sequel is set to be released on March 17. Ahead of its release, you can stream the original with an HBO Max subscription.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.