Aquaman has always occupied a strange place in DC Comics history. The seafaring superhero’s origins have been retconned numerous times since his debut in 1941, and even when his stories are firing on all cylinders he remains, by his very nature, a stranger in a strange land. Jason Momoa will take on the role of Aquaman later this year in Zack Snyder’s “Justice League,” and, according to the actor, Aquaman’s status as an outsider will remain intact.
“The guy was never really accepted on land, and he was never really accepted in Atlantis,” Momoa said in an interview with GQ. “He’s a half-breed. But he’s the best of both worlds. He just doesn’t know how to handle his powers. So it’s kind of a coming of age for a young man to a man, or a man to a king. He’s lost a lot of things and he’s got to cope. He’s an outsider.”
Momoa’s Aquaman will be the first live-action adaptation of the hero to hit screens since Alan Ritchson played the character in a 2005 episode of “Smallville.” Momoa is keenly aware that his role will likely be the first time many audiences have ever encountered Aquaman.
“We’ve never really seen anything from this guy before, so it’s fun to have a level playing field,” Momoa said. “There aren’t like four Aquamans before me. I get to set the tone for it.”
“Justice League” looks to adapt Aquaman’s latest comic book incarnation, Arthur Curry, for the big screen. Curry is the half-Atlantean, half-human king of Atlantis who is constantly at odds with his magically-inclined brother, Ocean Master. The character has a radically different backstory than when he was first created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris for “More Fun Comics” #73, which recounted the tale of Aquaman’s undersea explorer father discovering the remains of an underwater city and teaching his son to thrive in the ocean through training and scientific experimentation.
“Justice League” will see Aquaman recruited by Bruce Wayne in the wake of Superman’s death. With Earth’s greatest defender vanquished, Wayne and Wonder Woman go about assembling a team with the hopes of stopping Steppenwolf and his parademon troopers from acquiring ancient artifacts that would grant them unfathomable power. Momoa will reprise the role in a follow-up solo film, “Aquaman,” set to release in 2018.
Debuting in theaters on November 17, “Justice League” is a production of DC Films directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciaran Hinds, Amy Adams, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen and J. K. Simmons.