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I’m So Ready for Aquaman’s Lighter Tone, Empowered Mera, and Gladiator Fight

Under the sea, under the sea.

Ever since it was announced that an Aquaman movie was going to be made—I’m not gonna lie—I was rooting for it. Despite being a part of the DC Comics universe for decades and often being depicted as a founding member of the Justice League, Aquaman, much like Jabberjaw, got no respect. Yet, with Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman in the cast, and James Wan behind the camera, Aquaman could be the DC movie universe’s second hit.

An excellent piece by Collider has broken down 50 things you need to know about the film coming in. Some of it is a little bit more spoiler-y and mythology-based than may be fully necessary, but it does deliver a good breakdown of some important highlights of the upcoming DC picture.

Most important of all: timeline and location. Aquaman is going to take place after the events of Justice League and will serve as a stand-alone film, mostly taking place underwater. Yes. Yes, please show me the majesty of the ocean floor. So many movies that take place in different universes/settings spend way too much time in the human world. More Atlantis, less problems, as far as I’m concerned.

The article also confirms that Aquaman will not be carrying over the “dark” tone that has plagued the majority of the universe it resides in, which is fitting because, even though Momoa can do quiet brooding, I feel like his skills as an actor would be complimented more by a script that allows him to be funny.

In terms of comic book origins, the New 52’s Aquaman will be the biggest influence for the upcoming movie, with producer Peter Safran saying: “The new 52 version of Aquaman was definitely our touchstone and our starting point. And even though the film is not a direct adaptation of that, that was certainly the … in terms of his origin, who he is, that Tom Curry is his father and Atlanna is his mother, who Orm is, etc. That all comes from the new 52. And, there are certainly creature elements from it, like the Trench. So, that was our biggest influence.”

Black Manta, who we’ve spoken about before, will be “a very strong” secondary antagonist, and if the New 52 origins are going to be the premise, then it looks like we will most likely get a revenge-off between the two.

When it comes to the relationship between Arthur and Mera (played by Amber Heard) it seems as if the second act will be a bit of a “romantic comedy.” However, Safran said: “The movie is in the vein of Indiana Jones. James [Wan] wanted to tell this swashbuckling, fun, quest movie. Just, it’s a great time for everybody to see. So the relationship is a little bit Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, which is ultimately a romantic action movie. But, I wouldn’t say it’s actually a romance.”

Thankfully, that won’t mean Mera is just going to be a sidekick in Aquaman’s adventure. Heard has spoken about how Mera will have her own identity as a princess and warrior in her own right:

“I was doing my research and was reading the graphic novels, and in one of the first ones I read, there’s a scene, some natural disaster in open water, a tsunami hits on the land, and of course Aquaman comes in and saves the day and civilians are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Aquaman!’ And they turn to Mera, who has done equal work in saving this village, and they’re like, ‘Who are you? Are you Aquawoman?’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m not Aquawoman. I’m Mera, I have my own name.’ And I was like, I like this. I like this woman. I respect it as a character, I respect it as a person. I also respect it as the average modern woman, who is sick and tired of seeing the same old, two-dimensional, reactionary, passive roles that are limited to being rescued or enchanting the male protagonist. I feel I have a lot more to offer in life and I’m bored with those characters when I watch them.”

Finally, when it comes to showing off how strong Aquaman is—a characteristic I rarely connect with the Atlantian, if we’re being honest—Wan explained that he wanted to show that Aquaman is powerful without making another Superman.

As Wan explains, Atlantians are powerful because their bodies are built to withstand the pressure of living so deep in the ocean, so on the surface, their bodies are naturally stronger “bullets can maybe break their skin and break their flesh, but it doesn’t necessarily penetrate ’cause their muscle mass and their body mass is much more dense.” He went on to say that while “surface war weapons may have a hard time taking him down, Atlantian technology can cripple him for sure.”

Oh, there’s also a gladiator fight, which I’m sure will include some of that Atlantian tech.

So far, we know that Aquaman will be more lighthearted, feature a diverse cast, do justice to its female leads and characters, and include a glorious war of sibling angst. December 21st can’t come soon enough. Until then, the trailer will be out this Thursday for our viewing pleasure.

(Credit: Universal/Dreamworks)

(via Collider, image: DC Comics)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.