The hype train for the next DC tentpole, Aquaman, is getting set to leave the station. This Saturday, director James Wan has promised to release the first official trailer for the film, and he’s been diligently building up anticipation for the big reveal as of late. From gorgeous behind-the-scenes shots of the visuals he’s looking to include in the trailer, to great interactions with fans and bloggers on twitter, he’s been making sure that Aquaman has been on the tips of everyone’s tongues.
Yesterday alone was a huge day for the film, as we got some new story details and a brand spanking new poster as well!
The story details came courtesy of a new chat star Jason Momoa had with Collider, in which he compares and contrasts his Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, with the likes of Superman and Batman. Here, he talks about an important element he wanted to bring to the character:
“I think-I definitely want him to be-y’know you can’t sit down and have a beer with Superman, you know what I mean? You can’t. There’s things you can do with Batman that you can’t do with -I wanted Aquaman definitely to be that guy that – he’s blue collar. I mean the whole thing about him, I wanted him blue collar, he’s raised with his dad, worked on bikes, worked on old cars with his father and at a certain age he’s given this gift. He doesn’t know how to deal with it.”
Momoa would then go on to add that the film, in terms of its scope and tone, seems to draw inspiration from- and will hopefully be compared to– the likes of Star Wars and Indiana Jones:
“It’s like ‘Star Wars,’ it’s just a world we haven’t seen before. And, I think the bickering between the two of them [Aquaman and Mera] and also when they slowly start to enjoy each other and fall in love, I think it’s just a timeless story that’s just fun.
And, I love the fact that we haven’t been underwater and…when the s*** hits the fan it’s gonna be like ‘Star Wars’ underwater-it’s cool! I’m a huge f***in’ ‘Star Wars’ fan and I’ll never be anything remotely as good as Indiana Jones, but we can sure as f*** try! [laughs] I mean, like, I’ll never ever, ever beat him, but if we’re modeling after that, then, great, I’ll do my best. It’s something good to strive for.”
Momoa’s excitement for the role, and his ambitions for the film, are palpable. Aquaman really has an opportunity to be something truly special, and I’m honestly loving everything about the way Wan, Momoa, and the rest of the cast are spreading the word about this film. It feels fresh and exciting.
Speaking of fresh and exciting, here’s that new poster I mentioned earlier:
What’s notable here, aside from what a good-looking poster it is, is that it includes the December 21st release on the bottom. A few weeks back, I’d heard that the studio was putting serious consideration into moving Aquaman up to get it out of such a crowded marketplace.
Right now, the film is set to release a week after Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, two days after Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, and on the same day as the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee. After the dismal performance of Justice League last November, the studio needs Aquaman to hit big for a multitude of reasons.
The success or failure of the film will have a direct impact on how Warner Bros. proceeds with its ambitious DC plans. If it’s a huge hit, it’ll tell the studio that they managed to rebound from JL and that the existing continuity is viable with mainstream audiences. If it somehow falters or fails, it’ll push DC Entertainment to really break from the past.
Because of that, they were considering a release date change for Aquaman, and I posited that December 7 would be perfect. The only other wide releases that date are films that won’t directly compete with it (Mary Queen of Scots and Under The Silver Lake), and it would give the DC epic the jump on Spider-Man and Bumblebee, making it harder for those films to succeed because of the tidal wave Aquaman will hopefully create.
But with the poster re-affirming the December 21 release date on the heels of the trailer- which will surely also include that date- it looks like the studio is confident that the movie will act as this year’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. If you’ll recall, when Sony announced the release date for the Dwayne Johnson-led Jumanji film, most folks thought the film was being marched into a slaughter. After all, it was opening only five days after Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
But instead of getting demolished by the monolithic Star Wars franchise, Jumanji carved out its own audience and went on to earn almost a billion dollars worldwide.
It’s a bold strategy, and seems to imply that they think they have a real winner here in Aquaman. That, in and of itself, is exciting.
What do you think of this release date business? Is the studio being foolish keeping Aquaman where it is, or do you think it’d be smarter to move the film up in order to give him a chance to shine before things get crazy in mid-December?