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Aquaman: Why to watch the epic underwater DC superhero movie starring Jason Momoa
Our guide to the film’s best bits, insider facts and the all-star cast.
Ready to go on an epic underwater adventure?
Aquaman, the film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, tells the story of the reluctant King of Atlantis who goes on a quest to stop a war between the worlds of ocean and land.
The dazzling film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry (a perfectly cast Jason Momoa, Game of Thrones), and takes him on the journey of his lifetime.
Appearing alongside Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard, and coming from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Aquaman is a visually stunning spectacle that takes viewers on a voyage of discovery.
We reveal the best bits about the movie, fascinating facts and Easter eggs you didn’t spot, who’s in the cast, and more, to whet your appetite for Aquaman, which is available in the BT TV Film Store.
Who’s in Aquaman?
Jason Momoa - Arthur Curry / Aquaman
The Hawaii-born actor plays the title role of the half-Atlantean, half-human who is reluctant to be king of the underwater nation of Atlantis. His superpowers include the ability to manipulate the tides, swim at supersonic speed and communicate with underwater species.
Before Aquaman, Momoa was known for his cameo roles in other DC Extended Universe films (e.g. Justice League), plus television roles in Game of Thrones, Stargate Atlantis and Frontier.
He’s currently filming the science fiction movie, Dune.
Amber Heard - Mera
Heard plays Curry’s love interest in the film - a warrior and daughter of King Nereus, groomed to become Queen herself.
Like Momoa, the US actress appeared in the role of Mera before Aquaman - she also starred in 2017’s Justice League.
She’s also been in Magic Mike XXL, The Danish Girl, and The Rum Diary.
Willem Dafoe - Vulko
Vulko mentored and trained a young Arthur Curry. He’s played by Willem Dafoe, who many superhero fans will recognise from playing the Green Goblin / Norman Osborn in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films.
He’s been nominated for four Oscars, for roles including Platoon and The Florida Project.
Nicole Kidman - Atlanna
Kidman plays The Queen of Atlantis and mother of Arthur Curry, Atlanna.
The Australian actress has had huge success in Hollywood in roles including Moulin Rouge!, The Others, Cold Mountain and The Hours - the last of which earned her a Best Actress Oscar win.
Aquaman also stars: Patrick Wilson as King Orm; Dolph Lundgren as Nereus; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta; Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry; Ludi Lin as Captain Murk and Michael Beach as Jesse (Manta's father).
3 reasons to watch Aquaman...
1. Jason Momoa is perfectly cast as the King of Atlantis
Before Aquaman, the reluctant underwater king was pretty much the butt of all jokes - ridiculed in other films and TV shows, including Entourage and Spongebob Squarepants.
Blair Marnell from SyFy.com writes: “For decades, [Aquaman] was considered to be pathetic. He wasn't super or mighty, he was just the guy who talks to fish!”
But the Aquaman movie, he argues, “allowed Momoa's natural charisma to shine through and make [Aquaman] a formidable hero".
Critics agreed that Momoa brought a new level of authenticity to the role - commenting on his ‘sex appeal’ and ‘roguish charm’.
Peter Travers from RollingStone.com agrees: “Momoa proves he’s got the muscle and the magnetism to take on a whole franchise”.
Peter Debruge from Variety.com calls Momoa “an inspired casting choice, since he so clearly subverts the blond-haired prom king look of the comics”.
Empire's Helen O'Hara said: "Momoa takes every inch of space the film gives him and runs a mile on sheer roguish charm.”
2. The incredible underwater visual effects
Conjuring) and his team created a stunning, underwater world using largely visual effects.
Visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain lead the experts who created “multiple fantasy kingdoms, all forms of sea life, underwater armies, fantasy creatures, dinosaurs and a giant ancient Karathen monster”, writes TheMarySue.com.
See it for yourself with the below video, which shows shots from the film, before and after visual effects:
The result is an epic, fantastical underwater adventure that’s been dazzling audiences since its release.
In fact, it’s officially the highest-grossing D.C. Extended Universe film at the global box office. EW.comreports that it crossed a major movie milestone by making more than £1billion worldwide.
It’s no wonder then, that James Wan is rumoured to be in the director’s chair for the sequel...
3. Catch up ahead of the rumoured sequel
The solo Aquaman movie wasn’t the first time the King of Atlantis appeared on the big screen - and it certainly won’t be the last.
The King of Atlantis’ origin story followed on from the events of 2017’s Justice League, with Jason Momoa first stepping into the role a year earlier, for 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
And with the box office being as successful as it was, Warner Bros are keen to develop a follow-up.
Deadline.com reports that an Aquaman sequel is officially in development, with director James Wan thought to return “depending on the script”.
Geoff Boucher from the site writes that Wan “is deeply invested in the world creation aspect of Aquaman and sees the deep, blue sea as a fantasy setting that can be cinematically comparable to Middle-earth, the Jedi galaxy or the wizarding world of the Harry Potter films."
It’s currently pencilled for a 2022 release.
Aquaman trivia: Did you know...
1. Aquaman is Nicole Kidman’s first superhero movie since 1995’s Batman Forever. Speaking to Extra TV she says she signed on to work with director James Wan, and to work on something a little ‘lighter’ after filming drama series, Big Little Lies. She also attended her first ever Comic-Con to promote the movie.
2. Aquaman's helmeted nemesis Black Manta, played in the film by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, was almost cut from the film, screenwriter Geoff Johns told Geeks of Color.
3. In a rather surreal moment, an octopus in seen playing a drum solo in the film. Director James Wan confirmed that it’s a nod to Topo - Aquaman's octo-sidekick from the comics.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company briefly toyed with the idea of making the movie, according to Independent.co.uk.
5. After his success with the Fast & Furious 7 film, director James Wan was given the choice of directing a film centred on The Flash, or Aquaman. He chose Aquaman because he saw him as an underdog character, and because creating a whole new underwater world appealed to him.
Watch Aquaman if you liked…
Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Avatar, Mortal Engines, Moana, Atlantis Rising.
What the fans are saying about Aquaman:
People who watched the film took to Twitter to praise Momoa’s performance as the reluctant King of Atlantis...