How Zack Snyder Chose Jason Momoa for Aquaman

Jason Momoa as Aquaman

With Justice League only a few short days away, many are looking forward to DCEU newcomers like Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa. While Momoa doesn't necessarily look like the classic comic book version of Arthur Curry, director Zack Snyder and his wife/co-producer, Deborah Snyder, spotted him as a dream casting the moment they -- along with most fans -- first noticed him.

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"We’re big ‘Game of Thrones’ fans...I remember Jason Momoa," Deborah Snyder said in an interview with the L.A. Times, referring to the actor's debut as the Dothraaki warlord, Khal Drogo. “Zack was like, ‘Jason would be the perfect Aquaman.’ I was like, ‘It’s so out of the box. But yeah!’ He can be tough. And he feels like he comes from the water.”

Lo and behold, when Snyder was gifted the keys to oversee the DCEU, he started the process of signing on Momoa to play the Atlantean king, who first showed up as a quick cameo in 2015's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

"It was a learning experience because we actually shot that underwater,” Deborah said. “After we shot it Zack said, ‘Are you kidding me? We can’t shoot all these [underwater] scenes.’ It gave us a chance to say, ‘How are we going to do Cyborg? Is he going to be mechanical?’ It was a way to start testing a little bit. We were able to hone in on it when we came to Justice League.”

It was also important to Zack and Deborah to cast actors who worked as inspirational characters for fans both on- and off-screen.

“For movies with these superheroes you have a lot of kids [watching] and they become role models for kids,” Deborah said. “They become role models for adults too, but what’s different for the kids is they can’t necessarily distinguish between the character and the actor. Casting the person who was going to play the role was really important to us because it means a lot more. It’s not like a typical role an actor has. It’s magical when it works.”

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Justice League hits theaters on Nov. 17 and stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

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