The theatrical wide release of Aquaman is just under a month away, but Dolph Lundgren is still a little surprised he got the role of King Nereus, the father of Amber Heard's Mera, future Queen of Atlantis.
At the film's blue carpet premiere in London, Lundgren said that he thought that director James Wan's reason for casting him in such a critical role hearkens back to one of the action star's most pivotal 1980s roles, He-Man in Masters of the Universe.
“I think James Wan was a fan of Masters of the Universe when he was a little kid. And my King Nereus looks a bit like He-Man," Lundgren said. "So I think there's a reason maybe why I got cast for this role.”
Lundgren starred as He-Man in Cannon Films' 1987 film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, which was made in conjunction with Mattel. and loosely based on the toy giant's iconic toyline. The film introduced several new characters and took liberties with the He-Man mythos.
Although the film received lackluster box office returns and reviews, the infamous film went on to become a cult classic in the eyes of many He-Man and Dolph Lundgren fans.
Beyond playing He-Man and King Nereus on the big screen, Lundgren also portrayed the Punisher in 1989's The Punisher. He also just reprised his iconic turn as Ivan Drago, the villainous Russian boxer from Rocky IV, in Creed II.
While he's not a Master of the Universe, Lundgren said that Nereus was a great role. He described him as a "political figure" who was trying to keep the peace and "who joined the wrong side and because of my love for my daughter."
Hitting theaters on Dec. 21, director James Wan's 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.