The upcoming Aquaman film took much of its inspiration from a very specific source: Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis' run on the character at the start of DC's New 52.
With Johns co-writing the DCEU film's story with director James Wan and screenwriter Will Beall, Aquaman was strongly influenced by Johns and artist Reis' two-year run on the Atlantean superhero. While the film isn't a direct adaptation, much of the visual design and backstory comes from the inaugural New 52 run relaunching the character along with the rest of the DC Universe.
"The New 52 version of Aquaman was definitely our touchstone and our starting point," producer Peter Safran during a visit by journalists to the film's set. "Even though the film is not a direct adaptation of that, that was certainly, in terms of his origin, who he is: that Tom Curry is his father and Atlanna is his mother, who Orm is, etc. That all comes from the New 52. And, there are certainly creature elements from it, from the Trench. So, that was our biggest influence."
The centerpiece of Johns and Reis' New 52 run pitted Aquaman against his half-brother Orm for the throne of Atlantis with the siblings fighting over whether the undersea kingdom could coexist with the surface world. This conflict looks to be central to the upcoming film as Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry faces off against Patrick Wilson's Orm.
"I think that the fact that they [Wan & Johns] broke the story together, Geoff has tremendous creative involvement all the way through, on a day-to- day basis to the present day." continued Safran. "he really is a great touchstone to making sure we keep it in the correct world."
Directed by James Wan, 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. It is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 21.