Aquaman was a visual tour de force. But some new images from the visual effects team have shown us a behind-the-scenes look at how those sequences would look like before the final pass.
Recently, Aquaman officially becomes a box office hit that has been largely praised for its use of visual effects. Since so much of Aquaman story takes place underwater, VFX was going to be the key to make Atlantis feel like it was a real place.
You can see the photos below.
For 5 months, our team of #previs and #postvis artists, led by #teamHalon sup Ryan McCoy, worked with director James Wan, the #vfx and #producing teams to bring the seven seas to life in #Aquaman. A few choice shots by our artists here. Learn more at https://t.co/CchJ5qeFGe pic.twitter.com/ft5KrxaIry
— HALON Entertainment (@halonprevis) January 9, 2019
These images come courtesy of HALON Entertainment. It’s a studio that has done digital work on both movies as well as video games like The Meg and the recent God of War. The studio worked on Aquaman for five months, and throughout that time they worked on a host of different scenes. They shared some shots from Aquaman in various stages of the process, revealing several set pieces that were not quite finished yet at the time.
We all see a shot of the final battle that looks like it takes place on a foggy day rather than on the ocean floor. That includes some shots from the climactic war sequence between the Brine and the army of Atlantis. Even though in this incomplete state, it looks awfully impressive.
Other shots include the kiss between Arthur Curry and Mera as the sea life and ocean surrounds them.
We see that the stars Jason Momoa and Amber Heard embracing in the water and the wires holding her up are still visible. In there, Heard is using her water abilities in an unfinished form while Momoa is riding a seahorse with the unfinished battle in the background. In that final shot, the camera rotates around them. Alongside some of the sea life behind them, we can also see wires, green dots on their costumes, and a blue hand on Amber Heard’s hip.
Once again, Amber Heard takes the spotlight in the next shot.
It shows Mera using her immense aquakinesis powers to whip the water into tendrils around her. Still, some of the background elements are in place. However, the actual blasts from her hands and the water itself have not received the final touch.
In the last shot, Arthur is riding his mount into battle as the war rages around him.
He has his trademark trident. And some of the textures on the creature are already present. But there is a lot of color missing from the picture that would be there in the final version. It also looks as if Arthur has got his hair in a ponytail, which makes sense since they had to animate all the hair digitally.
It is so great to see images like this. The crew behind Aquaman movie just make clear how much work is really done by the visual effects studios. However, every second of footage requires a lot of work, making it look like no visual effects are being done at all. Aquaman is the highest grossing DC film to date. And that’s at least partially since the VFX is the sort of thing that you want to be sure to see on such a massive movie screen.
In the meantime, you can find out more about HALON on their official website.
As for Aquaman, the film is still in theaters now.
“Aquaman 2:” Jason Momoa Can’t Shoot the Film as He Protects Major Hawaii Construction
Even though while fans might be eager to see the future of Aquaman 2 in the next DC Comics-based film, actor Jason Momoa is now concerned with something much closer to his homeland. And if his latest post on social media is any indication, the Aquaman star is obviously being focused on using his platform to make a difference.
Jason Momoa posted an image on Instagram that shows a telescope being constructed. He pointed out the severe damage done to the land, explaining that Hawaii’s planned Thirty Meter Telescope would be much more catastrophic to the site where it’s being built. Check it out his post below.
View this post on Instagram
FUCK THIS. And TMT is 4x bigger. Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot Aquaman 2. Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land THIS iS NOT HAPPENING. WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU DO THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Go somewhere else. Repost. This is what telescope construction looks like (Subaru Telescope, 1992). The TMT will be four times larger on unscathed land. We must protect our scared mountain from further desecration. #KuKiaiMauna #WeAreMaunaKea #TMTShutdown
The actor feels strongly about protecting the site on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii. And Jason Momoa has joined thousands of activists in protest of the telescope’s construction. According to Live Science, that proposed site is said to cost around $1.4 billion, but its location on Mauna Kea that is the point of the controversy.
Jason Momoa has also been supported by fellow Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who said the construction was taking place at a location that he likened to church grounds.
“This is so much bigger than a telescope being built,” Johnson explained on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon last month. “This is humanity. And these are human beings whose hearts are hurting. I think any time situations like this come up, that is our indication we gotta stop. Let’s be considerate. Be empathetic. And let’s always take care of our people.”
It is great to see that Jason Momoa and Dwayne Johnson are using their platforms to support causes they believe in. It’s unclear whether or not they’ll actually stymie any progress made on the telescope right now, but the two might be gaining some momentum as more prominent people lend their support to the cause.
Currently, Aquaman 2 is set to be released on December 16, 2022.
Aquaman 2 Will Not Be James Wan’s Next Movie
Despite a studio high on Aquaman enough to greenlight not only a second movie but also a horror spinoff based on the characters in The Trench, director James Wan has other projects to fulfill before beginning production on this seafaring sequel. While there were reports that The Trench might be made before Aquaman 2, most fans had hoped and expected that James Wan’s attention would be mainly focused on the world of Aquaman once his Annabelle Comes Home wrapped its press tour. Instead, during an interview in support of the movie, James Wan teased a mystery project coming up that will likely be the next one he films.
There also has been little in the way of clear information about the sequel of Aquaman, which will follow DC’s highest-grossing film at the global box office of all time. The expectation is that villain Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) will return while some rumors have claimed that The Others, a group of elite Atlantean metahumans, would play a role in that story. And one of The Others was briefly rumored to be making an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“It will not be Aquaman 2 just yet,” Wan said, “I have something else I’m cooking up. I’m not ready to share just yet.”
According to an interview, James Wan was previously bullish on returning for a sequel right way. The filmmaker expressed his desire to tackle other new challenges, having made entries and started his own established franchises like Insidious, Saw, The Conjuring, and Fast & Furious.
“I mean, like the people I work with goes a long way,” said James Wan. “That’s the reason why I came back when I did Insidious 2. But it is a weird one for me because actually, I don’t know what I want to do next for the very first time in my career. I feel like Aquaman ticked a lot of boxes for me. So I wanted to do another action movie after Furious 7. And I wanted to do a world creation film, a superhero movie, and literally, Aquaman ticked all of those boxes for me. So right now, I’m in the sort of place of like do I kind of go back and do a smaller movie maybe as my next one, something a bit more intimate; or if I can do a personal film, but maybe it is on a bigger scale. I’m not sure at this point.”
Currently, Aquaman 2 is slated for December 16th, 2022. Other upcoming DC films include Joker on October 10 this year, Birds of Prey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7th, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020. In the meantime, Shazam! will be available on streaming home video on demand services, DVD, and Blu-ray next month.
Fans Are Freaking Out Over Jason Momoa Shaving Off His Iconic Beard
Jason Momoa is beloved by fans for a variety of reasons, including his take on Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and bringing Arthur Curry to life in Aquaman, just for being a delightful human being. There are also a lot of fans admiring his trademark beard, but now they had to say goodbye to that look after Jason Momoa made a big life change. He decided to shave off the beard that he has had for seven years.
The thing is, Jason Momoa did it for a good cause. The actor did it in order to raise awareness about aluminum, and how cans are better for the planet than plastic. So most of the internet is doing okay with it even though some are still trying to deal with the loss, and taking to social media to share their reactions and responses.
“Goodbye DROGO, AQUAMAN, DECLAN, BABA! I am shaving this beast off. It is time to make a change. It’s a change for the better for my kids, your kids, and the world. Let’s make a positive change for the health of our planet. And let’s clean up the oceans and land. Join me on this journey. Let’s make a switch to INFINITELY RECYCLABLE aluminum. Water in cans, NOT plastic,” Momoa writes on his YouTube channel.
Watch the full video below.
In the video, Jason Momoa is seen shaving off his beard while explaining the benefits of using aluminum cans.
“I think 2012 is the last time that I shaved,” he begins. “Good-bye-bye, Drogo! Goodbye-bye, Arthur Curry!”
“Most importantly, I just wanna do this to bring awareness,” Momoa explains. “The plastics are killing our planet. And I think I have a solution. I do not wanna bitch about it. There is only one thing that can really help our planet and save the planet. As long as we recycle.”
“About 75% of all aluminum that has ever been used is still in circulation today. And it is 100%t recyclable. So you drink the can, in about 60 days, it will be back. 100% infinitely recyclable,” he adds.
The actor continues to explain that he hates to see plastic water bottles, and it is his mission to bring more people into the world of aluminum.
“I am on a quest. My journey,” he says. “I got something new that I wanna show you. Still alkaline sparkling spring water,” Momoa says before taking a sip. “Still water, but I feel good about it. So I am gonna recycle this and know that we also can recycle it. It can be a can in 60 days. The rest of its life.”
“Please, please. There is a change coming. It is aluminum. Gotta get rid of these plastic water bottles. Aquaman is trying to do the best as he can. My kids, for your kids, and for the world,” he concludes.
Thank you for doing your part, Jason!
And now you can check out some of the reactions over the internet below!
01. BECAUSE YOU CAN’T RECYCLE
jason momoa shaved off his beard because you fucks don't know how to recycle and keep the planet clean. can't believe i have to deal with a dying planet and now jason without a beard
— capsicle (@sansaasnark) April 18, 2019
02. IN LOVING MEMORY
in loving memory of jason momoa’s beard pic.twitter.com/wymAHzCvjE
— ???????????????????????? ???? (@hannahxtait) April 18, 2019
03. RESPECT OUR PRIVACY
Jason Momoa has shaven off his beard.
I- we’ve arrived at an interesting point in our relationship and would be extremely greatful if you could respect our privacy during this trying and emotional time. Tysm xx pic.twitter.com/3VHs6rxmKc
— Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) April 18, 2019
04. GOODBYE DROGO
"Good bye, Drogo," Jason Momoa exclaimed while he shaved his beard off for a cause that is to help save and clean mother earth. Such a wonderful, wonderful human being ???????? pic.twitter.com/gFbqsuPySY
— Eufemiah (@regpostrero) April 18, 2019
Jason Momoa shaved his beard…but it was so legendary. pic.twitter.com/rUgx1R0K4P
— Alex Broad (@Broad1993) April 18, 2019
06. A DIFFERENT BREED
Beard completely gone and Jason Momoa is still as fine as ever. He’s a different breed.
— Curve Gotti (@J_adorevonny) April 18, 2019
07. TOTALLY SUPPORT
I’m totally supportive of Jason Momoa shaving his beard.
Simply because now my sexual fantasies of him won’t involve me being like “whoa… first things first, when did you last wash your beard?”
My fantasies are going to be so much more streamlined now. pic.twitter.com/qV7Ex5yaF7
— Annie Kinsley (@Anniekin85) April 18, 2019
08. OVER AT BUZZFEED
Jason Momoa Just Shaved Off His Beard Because People Are Destroying The Planet https://t.co/ogjlXqGkWP
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 18, 2019
So, how about you? Share with us in the comments!
“Aquaman” Director James Wan Suddenly Quits Twitter
Aquaman director James Wan is taking a break from Twitter. The filmmaker, who tweeted under the handle @creepypuppet will no longer be found on the website. James Wan is said to be focusing on upcoming projects now that his billion dollar plus-grossing blockbuster has completed its theatrical run. The director has left his little-used Instagram account untouched.
At present, James Wan has yet to be confirmed as director for the sequel of Aquaman but already dated by Warner Bros. for December 16, 2022. Previously, producer Peter Safran told THR of the four-year separation between Aquaman entries.
“[DC Films chief Walter Hamada], me, and Wan always shared the same philosophy, which is: you want to do it right,” Safran said. “You don’t want to do it fast. You just want to do it right.”
According to a report from Deadline, James Wan is expected to return, but he would be taking a break following production tax and promotional tour. Now Wan and the studio are on the hunt for a “seaworthy” script.
“I mean, like the people I work with goes a long way. That was the reason I came back when I did Insidious 2,” Wan said during an interview in December when asked if he intended to helm a sequel.
“But it is a weird one for me because actually, I do not know what I want to do next for the first time in my career. But I felt like Aquaman ticked a lot of boxes for me. After Furious 7, I want to do another action movie. I wanted to do a world of creation film. And I also wanted to do a superhero movie. Literally, Aquaman ticked all of those boxes for me.”
The filmmaker added he is now “in the sort of place like, do I kind of go back and make a smaller movie maybe as my next one, something a bit more intimate? If I can do a personal movie, maybe it is on a bigger scale. But I’m not sure at this point.”
At present, James Wan has numerous projects queued up as the producer, including Conjuring Universe spinoff The Curse of La Llorona, with Annabelle Comes Home, and the Swamp Thing TV series.
Aquaman will be available to own on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray on March 26.
Scientific Explanation Behind How Aquaman Swims at Supersonic Speed
Aquaman is a pretty impressive superhero. And we do not just mean because the Jason Momoa-starring film continues to make a splash at the box office. The superhero has some truly wild powers, specifically his ability to swim at supersonic speed.
Still, how exactly would that work in the real world? That is what the folks over at Nerdist’s Because Science Youtube channel decided to figure out. While comic book superpowers are not always the most rooted in real-world science, it turns out that there’s really a solid explanation for how the King of the Seven Seas does it.
You can watch the video below.
As we can see, Kyle Hill first breaks down the biggest obstacle to Aquaman’s swimming speed – drag. In basic terms, drag is the various forces that work against an object when they move through anything (specifically through water in this case). He also uses what’s canonically Aquaman’s swimming speed as established in comics – 6800 miles per hour. It figures out that to overcome the drag, Aquaman would encounter in the water using his own, personally-generated energy the superhero would have to eat a truly ridiculous amount of food. How ridiculous? You know, just enough to deplete fully the entire stock of fish in the whole ocean every 100 days.
And since it is pretty much impossible for that to happen, the explanation as to how Aquaman pulls off the mighty feat of his supersonic swimming speeds comes down then not to energy output but to, in a sense, swim smarter, not harder. And to that end, it appears that the best bet of Aquaman for obtaining high swim speeds is something called supercavitation. It’s the use of cavitation, the formation of bubbles in a liquid, usually by a propeller, creating a bubble large enough to encompass an object moving through the liquid as well as reducing the drag forces dramatically, kind of like how a torpedo moves through the water.
As the video also explains:
This appears to be generally the way the swimming speed of Aquaman is actually presented in the film as bubbles are seen around and trailing behind the superhero alongside other Atlanteans while they are swimming. There is also a real-world scientific basis for being able to achieve that crazy 6800 miles per hour speed, too. In 1997, the US Navy did carry out a test of supercavitating projectiles and achieved speeds over half of Aquaman’s velocity. Assuming that Aquaman has specialized, highly-advanced biology, it is not too much of a stretch to see how the superhero could be hitting the mark with his own supercavitation.
When science does a solid job of backing up the intense swim speeds of Aquaman, there’re other feats in the DCEU film that have a bit of science behind them, such as how Atlanteans switch from breathing underwater to on the surface in the movie.
On a visit to the set of Aquaman, journalists saw a sequence in which Orm essentially vomits water after he’s stuck in a patch of air. Director James Wan previously explained the logic behind the expulsion of water, thanks to the science of it all.
“Just from a practical standpoint, people asked me, ‘Is it bubbles that come out of their mouth?’ explained Wan. “No. ‘cause there is no air in your lungs. So there would not be any bubbles, right? Because you don’t do that, right? And so, in the sequence, where you saw Mera open up this air pocket to suck Orm away from Arthur, help him out. Now, when he is breathing, the first thing he does is using the air pockets, where he’d get out all of the water that is in his lungs.”
So, what do you think about the science behind the intense swimming speed of Aquaman? Let us know in the comments!
In the meantime, Aquaman is now in theaters. Other DC Extended Universe films will be arriving.
- Shazam! on April 5, 2019
- Joker on October 10, 2019
- Birds of Prey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.
“Aquaman” Officially Crosses $1 Billion at the Global Box Office
The blockbuster Aquaman has officially crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office.
The film already became the biggest DC Extended Universe movie so far. But now, it has surpassed The Dark Knight to be the biggest DC Comics film since The Dark Knight Rises.
Even though Aquaman’s critical score has dropped all the way to 63% on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment, audiences are still loving it. Recently, the star Jason Momoa thanked fans for all of their support.
“Mahalo everyone for making Aquaman the number one movie in the world,” he wrote to his Instagram. “I love you guys. I’m so proud of the movie and everyone who worked on it. CHEEEEHUUUUUUU Aloha.”
Aquaman sees Arthur Curry, the half-human prince of Atlantis. When his half-brother, King Orm, stokes the fires of war, Aquaman finds himself trapped between the two worlds he loves.
The director behind Aquaman is James Wan. The movie follows Jason Momoa’s debut as the character in Justice League (2017) of former director Zack Snyder.
While speaking to Comicbook, James Wan discussed the importance of putting his own touch on Aquaman and also staying true to the foundation laid in Justice League.
“It was important for me early on to be allowed to make my own film and to have my own voice in there,” said Wan. “After Furious 7 and Conjuring 2, I did not want to be a director for hire. After Furious 7, that is kind of who I was to some degree. But after that, I do not want to be that guy again. So, it’s really important to be able to bring my own stamp, my own visual aesthetic, and create the characters. Even though Jason [Momoa] has somewhat been established Justice League, I wanted to bring his character into this, basically, fresh in lots of ways.”
“So, it’s very important for me to obviously pay respect to where he was left off in [Justice League], then allow me the freedom to take him to where I want at the end of the movie. My hero goes on this hero’s journey and becomes someone very different than where he started. That’s something very important for me. And the movie I want to make, that I was allowed that freedom to do.”
In the meantime, Aquaman is already swimming in theaters.
Other DC Extended Universe films are on their ways, including Shazam! on April 5th, Birds of Prey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7th, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020.
“Aquaman” Star Amber Heard Reveals New BTS Photo of Mera
While Aquaman is headed to the one-billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office, the movie’s female lead is celebrating with a new behind-the-scenes photo.
Recently over Instagram, the actress Amber Heard shared a new photo, showing her in Mera costume while on Aquaman’s set. You can view it below.
Although the look of Mera was arguably pretty flawless onscreen, it seems like Amber Heard had a sort of a lengthy process to get into her role.
“It took me a long time to get in the costume,” she told Comicbook. “So I’d want to say there would be this moment where I put on the costume. And bam! I am Mera. But it was a long process *laugh*.”
The blockbuster Aquaman sees Mera and Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) traveling across the world in their search of Atlantis’ lost trident, in hopes of uniting the undersea and surface worlds together.
“Mera has a strong sense of duty and responsibility that is strongly tied to Atlantis and her role in there,” Amber Heard explained to reporters during her visit to the film’s set. “Mera deeply cares about the position that she believes she was not just born to do. And she has worked the whole life to be able to do it well. It is not enough just to have inherited the position. Her sense of honor and the duty is inartistically tied to her place in leading Atlantis and doing the right things for her people.”
“Mera is her own woman,” Amber Heard continued. “Mera is her own superhero. She is not Aquawoman. She is Mera.”
This time, Amber Heard was bringing Mera to the big screen in Aquaman, but initially, she did feel a little hesitant to take on the role.
“You know, part of what got me, when I first talked to Zack [Snyder] on the phone about the prospect of doing the film, he said, ‘Mera is a warrior queen. Basically, you get a sword and a crown’. And then I was like, ‘okay, you know how to pitch to your audience.’ Alright, I am listening now. I do not want to be a damsel. I have played a range of characters as diverse as I have been able to. Being a woman, especially a bit of the young woman in this industry, and raising myself in this industry, has been limited. But I have done the most with what I can. Especially considering that one thing, the one element they all have in common is that they are driven or powerful in their own right,” said Amber Heard.
- Shazam! on April 5, 2019
- Joker on October 10, 2019
- Birds of Prey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.
Willem Dafoe Stars Vulko Opens Up on His “Aquaman” Wig
While blockbuster Aquaman is raking in some massive cash at the box office, actor Willem Dafoe is attending the 76th Golden Globes where he was nominated for the Best Actor – Motion Picture for his role in At Eternity’s Gate.
Willem Dafoe played Atlantean strongman Vulko in the DC Extended Universe film. On the red carpet prior to tonight’s show, Dafoe spoke to his role in the James Wan-directed flick. As Variety reports, Dafoe enjoyed playing Vulko in Aquaman because it kept his acting chops flexible.
While his character appears with long hair, often in a ponytail, Willem Dafoe was relieved as he did not have to grow it out. Rather, he also revealed on the red carpet that his character was fitted with a wig.
“It is nice to be able to work in different ways and not you know, just one kind of movie,” Willem Dafoe reflects. “It keeps you flexible and keeps you open-minded and open-hearted. I’m sure they have got it in a studio somewhere. That was a wig. It is okay. I am good with wigs. With a good costume and a wig, that helps you out.”
In the movie, Vulko remained his loyal to the throne, ultimately serving as a mentor to both Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry alongside his half-brother Patrick Wilson’s Orm. As a mentor, Vulko did what he could to train both brothers.
In fact, Willem Dafoe actually did some of his own underwater stunts for the film.
“To create the underwater thing, I am always on wires, almost, which was really cool,” Willem Dafoe told Jimmy Fallon. “When I was doing it, it is not a shark. It is a green cube. I am sitting basically on a box on wires, and I am flying around. The trick is, you know, to personalize it. Try to imagine it, the green box. I gave it a name, Muriel, after my mother. That is not to say she was a shark. Somehow, I love that name. And it made me love my shark. That is the connection you gotta make when you are an actor!”
So, what do you think of Willem Dafoe’s role as Vulko? Share with us in the comments below!
In the meantime, Aquaman is still now in theaters. Other DC Extended Universe films will be arriving.
- Shazam! on April 5, 2019
- Joker on October 10, 2019
- Birds of Prey (& the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1894 on June 5, 2020.
James Wan Director Explains Why Aquaman Doesn’t Have Any Cameo in Justice League
Following Warner Bros. and DC Comics having a hit on their hands with the latest movie Aquaman, Arthur Curry has to defend the surface world from the threat of his brother Orm as well as the militant forces of Atlantis.
It is a tall task. And one that has potentially devastating results for the surface world and the population across the globe. The solo adventure of Arthur takes place after the events of Justice League, yet none of the other superheroes pop in for a cameo. So why didn’t Aquaman get some help from his allies? Recently, director James Wan addresses this exact question while speaking to Huffington Post. And that’s obviously intentional.
“I just feel like this is his standalone movie. So just let it be about Aquaman,” said James Wan. “I feel like all the other characters all have had many movies. The audiences have known all the other characters in all the other movies, all these different projects. So let this be Aquaman’s time in the spotlight.”
As a connected cinematic universe, members of the League show up in each other’s movie(s) from time to time. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice basically introduced all the superheroes. Suicide Squad also had a cameo from Batman and the Flash. Wonder Woman had a letter from Bruce Wayne if you want to count that too, but otherwise, she ran a show on her own.
However, James Wan has his point, as Aquaman eventually getting his chance to shine has seemingly made for a better film (just look at the massive numbers of the box office for proof). However, fans still have more questions about how this movie will fit into the shared universe.
In Justice League, Aquaman travels to Atlantis in the hope of preventing Steppenwolf from securing one of the three Mother Boxes hidden on Earth. But then James Wan explained that this was not a problem, as he discussed with director Zack Snyder.
“So when he told me that’s his idea,” James Wan said. “I was like, ‘Oh great. Then I call actually have Arthur go to Atlantis for the first time.’ That is very important for me. Because he can go into it, then have a wide-eyed approach to Atlantis, and could be in awe of it. I think that is very important from a storytelling standpoint because the audiences get to experience Atlantis for the first time alongside the character.”
The director also went on to compare Arthur’s arrival to a pivotal scene in Jurassic Park, taking a major cue from Steven Spielberg.
“It would not be the same if Arthur goes to Atlantis and has been here before. And he is kind of jaded about it,” James Wan addressed. “Nothing is impressing him. Then you as an audience watching wouldn’t be impressed either. It is what Spielberg approach, right?”
“Seeing a character seeing something for their first time, like in Jurassic Park when Laura Dern sees the dinosaur for her first time. The camera is pushing in on her look of awe and her wonderment. That is how you convey it to the audience. And that is how the audience comes along with the characters.”
In the meantime, Aquaman is still in theaters worldwide.
“Aquaman”: 20 Easter Eggs Fans Probably Missed
At the moment, Aquaman is still swimming to theaters. While the movie is not having the critical praise as Wonder Woman, it’s still getting its fair share of good response, sitting fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a very high audience score. And it seems like DCEU should have been concentrating on these standalone movies, rather than rushing into team-up ones as well as Justice League.
With that being said, whether or not a person is a fan of Aquaman, one thing to notice is the great Easter eggs that director James Wan threw up onto the big screen.
While there are many comic book movies heavy-handed with their own Easter eggs, James Wan took on a few clever options while delivering winks to fans. Some were in plain sight (such as the actors cast, the name of towns, and the shots pulled directly from the comics). Others were blink-and-you-miss-it tributes to James Wan’s own past movies, his collaborators, and trivia pulled straight out of both DC Comics and Aquaman storyline. Eventually, there were Easter eggs that paid direct homage to the movie’s story as well as its theme, possibly the best of all Easter eggs exist.
With the film a thrill ride that hardly slows down, many of those are easy to drop. So now, here is a look at 20 Aquaman Easter Eggs that everyone (probably) missed.
Warning: the following contains spoilers for Aquaman.
1. AMNESTY BAY
It’s clear from the start that the DCEU was following much of Geoff Johns’ redesigns of the DC Comics universe. He brought black old-time favorites like Barry Allen as The Flash, Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. And then John did the impossible: he made Aquaman less of a joke. He did that by writing a new series based on the character referenced to the jokes and had Aquaman play the role of a noble superhero in the face of them.
In these Geoff John and Ivan Reis comics, John did create a new home for Aquaman called Amnesty Bay. Though in the comics, it is located in Massachusetts, but then it was changed to Maine in Aquaman. Regardless, this was a clear homage to John’s works, as well as the introduction of Salty (a.k.a. Aquadog), a golden retriever from that comic book run.
When Tom Curry saved Atlanta after she washed ashore, he took her in and helped bandage her up. Then she woke up confused and disoriented. Atlanta attacked Tom, and then she saw a television. As the person who had never seen something like that before, she stared in horror while the TV show Stingray was playing. Then Atlanta launched her trident through the screen.
Obviously, this was an Easter egg on more than one level. First of all, Stingray is a classic stop-motion puppet series that took place underwater. It was actually about invaders from the deep, which ties in well to the storyline of Aquaman. On a side note, Stingray is a character from Marvel Comics who is a deep-sea superhero – another interesting connection for the movie.
Now take a look at the monster that Aquaman rides on when he attacks Orm’s army delivering his final knockout blows to the rebellion. It seems easy to see that creature and immediately remind of the most iconic mythical sea creature ever invented: the Cthulhu.
H.P. Lovecraft is the man who created the legendary Cthulhu, and there was a great Lovecraft Easter egg in Aquaman. During the early scene where Atlanta and Tom Curry are sitting in the living room, there is a glimpse of a snow globe, which shows The Dunwich Horror (a horror story written by H.P. Lovecraft) resting under it. The plot in that book is about a son born of two species. Needless to say, that’s another strong tribute to Aquaman storyline.
4. THE MOTHER BOX
In Justice League, it was previously explained that there were three Mother Boxes hidden on Earth. One is protected by humans, one by Amazonians, and the other by Atlanteans. As we see in the Aquaman movie, the Mother Box in Atlantis was stolen by Steppenwolf when he attacked the underwater kingdom. So now, have a closer look at that box, then the small one that Queen Atlanta made for her family as a craft.
As a Reddit user pointed out, the box on the table beside a photo of Atlanta, Tom, and Arthur Curry looks exactly like that Mother Box. Since Atlanta would have had an intimate knowledge as to what it looked like as the Queen, it’s clearly a homage to Justice League as she created something based on her memories of her homeland.
5. DEVIL RAY
By the time Arthur Curry first attacks the pirates and saves the crew from the submarine, he faces a father-son duo. As we know, the son escapes alive and then becomes Black Manta. However, while the movie doesn’t explicitly state it, the father is a supervillain from the world of DCEU as well (or at least the actor was).
Michael Beach plays the role of Black Manta’s father, and he also voiced a character in Justice League Unlimited called Devil Ray. So, who is Devil Ray? He’s an underwater villain that was originally supposed to become Black Manta but had to be changed to Devil Ray due to the right’s issues. But now, in Aquaman, DC finally got to use Black Manta and the man who voiced a version of him in the cartoon as his dad.
Before the debut of Aquaman, Jason Momoa portrayed Conan the Barbarian. The movie was met with critical disdain and never developed into the franchise as the studio hoped. But James Wan loves to throw in winks and nudges at these things. For Momoa, there were two moments paid homage to Conan.
The first one took place on the sub with the pirates, where Arthur held up one’s face to the porthole to get it open. And in Conan, he did the same thing, but with a severed head. Later, while facing off with Karathen, he said: “if that is not good enough, then screw you.” And it is a play on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line in the original Conan the Barbarian, in which he said, “if you don’t listen, then to tell with you.” Add in the scene when Aquaman wakes up on the boat in wrapping similar to these he wore as warlord Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. And there were a lot of Jason Momoa Easter eggs in Aquaman.
While Arthur is sitting with his dad in the bar having beers, they notice the local television network is reporting about how Aquaman saved a submarine and its crew from pirates. His dad congratulates him, and some biker dudes come up with a request for selfies. And there are also a couple of things to take note of in this sequence.
First of all, the person they’re talking to on the news is no one other than Doctor Shin, who we’ll get to a little further down. Second, the network WGBS is the place Clark Kent used to work in the DC Comics. It’s owned by Morgan Edge, a wealthy villain who worked for Darkseid in the comics pages.
The film’s directors seemingly love to throw in Easter eggs that call back to their earlier movies. Sure, there are no appearances if Vin Diesel in a muscle car in Aquaman, but Wan got his start in the low budget horror movies. Before becoming a master director of action films, he helmed Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring. And now there is at least one more Easter egg from his horror history.
Annabelle is a spinoff movie from The Conjuring, which highlights a vintage doll with wicked powers. While Aquaman and Mera are looking for her underwater vehicle, they find it hidden in a shipping container with numerous rotted fish surrounded by the garbage. And amidst that aquatic trash is none other than the Annabelle doll, sitting there looking spooky.
9. CLASSIC AQUAMAN
There was one thing that many fans took notice of when Jason Momoa casting as Aquaman was that he looked nothing like a superhero. For one thing, Aquaman wasn’t a man with long black hair and tattoos all over his arms. Instead, the Aquaman in comic books as well as cartoons had short blonde hair and was distinguished for much of his life. Though, he did get a big beard and long hair when his life got a bit tough at times.
However, James Wan chose to make something interesting in his Aquaman movie. Patrick Wilson stars King Orm bleached his hair blonde and really took on his look of the Aquaman in the comics, that made him truly stand out from Momoa’s heroic Aquaman. It almost seems like Wan wanted the villain to look like the Aquaman that was mocked from the comic books.
10. MAN OF STEEL
Justice League was not the only DCEU movie to have Aquaman pay a nod with an Easter egg, as the Man of Steel is also on the list. Jason Momoa previously said the movie was ever released that there would be an Easter egg to this Superman film. And most people already kept their eyes peeled for what the scene would be.
Remember the scene in Superman, when the oil tanker was sinking, and then he had to save the people on it before they perished with it? Most people did realize that Atlantis and Aquaman would have a problem with this, and that’s exactly what happened. While Orm is talking about all the destruction that humans inflict on the ocean, the particular oil rig sinking appears in the flashbacks.
11. TOPO THE OCTOPUS
The Topo the Octopus is one of Aquaman’s aquatic sidekicks in the DC Comics. Remember, in the old stories, Aquaman does not just talk to aquatic life but also help train them. And one of his buddies is an octopus. In a series of strange events, Topo learns how to play musical instruments, including the guitar, piano, and drums.
Back in Aquaman, when Arthur is about to battle Orm in the Ring of Fire, there’s lots of pomp and circumstance. It includes putting on a show and even music, which is presided over by a giant octopus playing drums to set the mood. Sure, many people might not get it, but that was obviously a homage to Topo the Octopus from DC Comics.
12. BIGGER HELMET
In this case of Aquaman Easter egg, it’s a simple play on words. While thinking of aquatic films, there is not one bigger or more iconic than the classic Steven Spielberg movie Jaws. That movie was a huge summer blockbuster, and the giant shark in it would likely have fit at home with the sharks that King Orm and his troops ride in the Aquaman.
When Orm hired Black Manta to wipe out Aquaman and granted him an Atlantean high-tech weapon to do it, the villain started to work on designing his body armor. He created a bug-eyed helmet with laser blasts coming from its eyes, but it proved too powerful, melting it down. Then Black Manta quipped that he needed a bigger helmet. And it’s a clear homage to the Jaws classic line: “We are going to need a bigger boat.”
13. THE SEAHORSE
It seems like there are lots of Easter eggs regarding past Aquaman appearance. In particular, Aquaman was always the brunt of superhero jokes in the world of DC Comics and also the mainstream appearances on Family Guy or Robot Chicken. He talks to fish, and he rides a seahorse.
However, the seahorse made a huge appearance in Aquaman, and it was not a joke in any way. Sure, it wasn’t as formidable as those giant sharks that Orm rode or the monster things that came from the deep sea. But when Drago’s King Nereus is souped up in battle armor and is ready to fight, he makes riding a seahorse. And that scene looks really freaking cool.
14. LEIGH WHANNELL
Moreover, the trailer of Aquaman played hard at a funny moment. From that scene, Mera leaps from an airplane as Arthur watches on and the pilot exclaims that she did not have a parachute, leading to the hero remarking “redheads” before he jumps out after her.
It’s a funny moment. Especially since there was no hero’s landing and the two just crashed into the desert sand below. However, this Easter egg is another pull from the horror history of James Wan. And the pilot is none other than Leigh Whannell. He’s also the man who wrote Saw for Wan to direct when they both started out their careers. It was such a nice moment for Wan to have his buddy in the film. Even though, Whannell’s career is on the rise as well with him directing the amazing Upgrade in 2018.
15. MURK’S HAND IS ATTACKED
While Mera is battling the Atlanteans sent with Black Manta to eliminate her and Aquaman, she uses her incredible powers that control the water to fight back. One of the soldiers in that battle is Murk. And she uses her abilities to deliver a mighty blow to the soldier’s hand. Now, some may see this and remember that Aquaman lost a hand in the comics. But that isn’t what this Easter egg is mentioning about.
In the comics, Murk is one of the main soldiers that were there to defend Atlantis against surface dwellers and also the right-hand man of King Orm. From there, he was missing a hand and then replaced it with a blade implanted in the stub. Expect his return with that look in future movies as a loyal follower of Orm.
16. FISHERMAN KING
There is one thing about heavy prosthetics is a single actor can play multiple roles. That also happened with one actor (Djimon Hounsou) in Aquaman as he also appears in the next DC Comics movie Shazam!. Moreover, the man also has a role in the upcoming MCU film Captain Marvel, ironically that is what Shazam used to be known as.
Of course, in Captain Marvel, Djimon Hounson reprises his role as Korath the Pursuer from Guardians of the Galaxy. As for Shazam!, he is the god, although he’s unrecognizable. And once again, in Aquaman, he is also unrecognizable as the Fisherman King – a being that just wants peace between the underwater kingdom and the surface dwellers. In addition, he is not the only surprising cameo either as John Rhys-Davies is the Brine King.
17. DINOSAUR ISLAND
The Dinosaur Island exists outside of the normal realm in DC Comics. And fans from Batman to Superman have been there or knows about it. Located in the South Pacific, it’s an uncharted island that is home for dinosaurs as well as other extinct animals elsewhere on Earth. For comic book fans who never believe they would see Dinosaur Island in a movie, the dream has finally come true.
When not called Dinosaur Island per se, while Aquaman and Mera go searching for the mythical trident and make it alive through the Trench, they find land that features many dinosaur-type creatures flying around. Obviously an homage to Jules Verne, who was quoted in the opening of Aquaman. It’s apparently a homage to Dinosaur Island from DC Comics.
18. MARY POPPINS
Somehow, the Marvel Cinematic Universe managed to catch on with a great moment that went viral when Star-Lord compared Yondu with Mary Poppins. Alongside Marry Poppins current in theaters, one thing that fans of that original family flick might miss is Julie Andrews, who had refused a cameo in the movie. But what is entirely bonkers is that Andrews did have a cameo in Aquaman.
The thing is that no one would likely notice when Mary Poppins pops up in the movie. During the scene where Aquaman is at the Lost Sea heading in to claim the trident, he approaches a giant creature guarding it called the Karathen. That creature doesn’t believe he is worthy and the Karathen, believe it or not, is voiced by Julie Andrews.
19. DOCTOR SHIN
So now, let’s look at the post-credit scene. We see Black Manta is, indeed, still alive. And that he wants vengeance on Aquaman for both his father’s death and his increased injuries. It’s also interesting that Aquaman even does not know that Black Manta caused the attack on Atlantis that helped Orm start the war.
With that being said, who is Doctor Shin? The film showed him in a quick television news segment, and now he’s helping Black Manta. However, in the comics, Doctor Shin is someone who wants to know where Atlantis is. And then he becomes an enemy, revealing the hidden identity of Arthur to the world. With the immense knowledge of Atlantis (except for its location), he could become a very strong ally to Black Manta in Aquaman sequel.
20. COAST CITY
The very first movie that DCEU tried to get off the ground in the hoped-for extended universe was not the Man of Steel but Green Lantern. However, what resulted was a mess that almost derailed the entire DCEU before it could get started. However, there’s still hope for Green Lantern as the Corps appears in Justice League and also in the opening logo before DC films.
Back to the post-credit scene, Doctor Shin is working on Black Manta’s mask while the villain is recovering himself. On the walls in that room, there is a ton of newspaper clippings about Atlantis. One of those is from the Coat City Ledger, which DC Comics fans will immediately recognize as Green Lantern’s hometown.
So, how do you feel about these Easter eggs in Aquaman? Did you recognize any egg of these? Share with us in the comments below!
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