A little more than a week before Warner Bros.' big Hall H presentation at Comic-Con International in San Diego, director James Wan's Aquaman delivers the first look at the Fisherman King, the ruler of one of the seven kingdoms of Atlantis.
Debuting in Entertainment Weekly, the image depicts Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel) as the trident-wielding sovereign, whose people evolved after the fall of Atlantis, becoming amphibian or reptilian in appearance; they even have fish-like tails. The Fisherman King is joined in the photo by the Fisherman Queen (Natalia Safran) and Princess (Sophia Forrest), as well as a royal guard.
"This is a kingdom that’s primarily artistic and cerebral, with poets and philosophers," producer Peter Safran told EW. In this scene, Patrick Wilson's King Orm has come to the Fisherman King in hopes of enlisting him in a war against the ocean-polluting surface world.
It was confirmed last month that the film will borrow from more recent DC comics canon, in which there were seven ancient kingdoms of Atlantis. Although in the comic books four of those kingdoms were destroyed when Atlantis sank centuries ago, leaving only Xebel, the Trench and Atlantis, it appears that in the film the split came after the catastrophe.
In older DC lore, the Atlantean colony of Tritonis was cursed by a mystic, and its people transformed into scaly "fish-people"; the mermaid Lori Lemaris, one of Superman's Silver Age love interests is among them. The comic books more recently introduced the Trench, one of the three surviving kingdoms, whose physiology changed to withstand ocean pressure at great depths; they're more primitive in appearance and behavior, with razor-sharp teeth.
Although few concrete plot details have been revealed about Aquaman, it’s been characterized by Wan as “a classic story of sibling rivalry,” involving Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and his half-brother Orm, an "eco-warrior" king who's determined for Atlantis to retaliate against the surface world for centuries of ocean pollution.
Aquaman will join Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984 on Saturday, July 21, for the Warner Bros. presentation, where Wan's film is expected to screen its first trailer.
Arriving Dec. 21, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry and Dolph Lundgren as Nereus.