Entertainment Weekly is slowly unveiling their Aquaman movie coverage, so we round up the biggest news stories - first looks at key characters and insight into James Wan's DC Comics movie. The upcoming solo movie starring Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry is the only DC Films release of 2018. It arrives on the heels of a year that saw the DC movie universe's greatest success with Wonder Woman, and greatest disappointment in Justice League. After the mixed reviews and poor box office performance of Justice League, Warner Bros. and DC are no doubt hoping to bounce back with a hit in Aquaman.
Thankfully, buzz surrounding the upcoming DC movie has been positive. The hype has been building for almost a year now, since the first Aquaman footage screened at San Diego Comic-Con last summer. Warner Bros. also presented Aquaman footage at CinemaCon earlier this year, but an official trailer hasn't been released - yet. In the wake of Warner Bros' Aquaman presentation at CineEurope this week, where the trailer screened, more and more news is rolling in about the DC movie from EW's cover story.
Now, we collect all the biggest stories from Entertainment Weekly's coverage of Aquaman, including first looks at key characters, new images featuring the Atlantis setting, and insight about the movie provided by the creative team behind it.
- This Page: First Looks At Black Manta, Orm, Vulko & Queen Atlanna
- Next Page: Aquaman's Underwater Setting & Place In the DCEU
First Look At Black Manta
EW revealed our first look at David Kane aka. Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Though the still from Aquaman doesn't reveal what the antagonist to Arthur Curry will look like fully suited up, it does hint that the full costume will be comic-accurate. We've known for a while that would be the case, as Aquaman concept art shown at CinemaCon 2017 was described by attendees as featuring a Black Manta helmet that's accurate to the character's comic book iteration.
That said, now that the first official look at Black Manta has surfaced, fans will doubt be please to see it for themselves.
First Looks At Queen Atlanna
Nicole Kidman co-stars in Aquaman as Arthur Curry's Atlantean mother, Queen Atlanna. Though the actress has previously voiced her excitement about appearing in the film, our first look at her character arrived via an Entertainment Weekly cover featuring Queen Atlanna, Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard).
Plus, an additional still from the movie revealed as part of a larger gallery of images depicts Atlanna carrying what appears to be Arthur as a toddler. It's possible the third person in the photo is Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison), Arthur's human father.
We still don't know much about Atlanna and how much she appears in Aquaman, but like the other Atlantean characters, Kidman's queen has an interesting underwater aesthetic that will likely look even better on screen.
First Look At Orm (And Vulko - Sort Of)
The previously mentioned gallery of Aquaman movie images includes a good look at Arthur's half brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), who is the ruler of Atlantis at the start of the film. According to the Aquaman CinemaCon footage descriptions, Arthur challenges King Orm to some kind of one-on-one battle in an underwater gladiator-like coliseum. Now, in the image released by EW, we can see how Orm appears, as well as the Atlantean armor he wears - not to mention, the way he and Arthur wear their hair. Plus, the still also offers a better look at Aquaman's new armor, which was revealed in a promotional photo at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, last month.
This gallery also offers a look at Vulko (Willem Dafoe), though it's from the back. Still, based on the image, we can see that Vulko is plotting something with Arthur and Mera. Plus, he wears a slick-looking black costume with a scale effect similar to the other Atlantean characters.
First Look At Atlanteans Riding Sharks
We've known Wan's DC movie would feature underwater soldiers riding sharks ever since the first footage debuted at SDCC last year and descriptions made their way online. However, as fantastic as those descriptions sounded, fans at home didn't get a chance to see how it actually looked. Now, EW has revealed a first look at Aquaman characters riding sharks and seadragons. New concept art, and a still image from the scene that art depicts, were revealed by EW, showing armies from two of the seven underwater kingdoms in some kind of meeting.
Among those on the sharks are Orm and Vulko from Atlantis, while King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) of Xebel sits astride one of the seadragons. Certainly, though fans would undoubtedly love to see this scene play out in action, our first glimpse at such a spectacular underwater sequence will build buzz for when the Aquaman trailer eventually drops.
Aquaman's Main Villain Is Orm
In the comics, both Black Manta and Orm/Ocean Master are recurring antagonists for Arthur Curry's Aquaman. However, Wan's DC movie will have one main villain, and one secondary villain. King Orm is the main villain of Aquaman, with Wan describing the chief conflict as being between the brothers. No doubt, this conflict will have to do with the throne of Atlantis, of which Arthur is the heir. That leaves Black Manta to be a secondary antagonist, though perhaps Wan's film sets him up to be a bigger threat in a potential follow-up to Aquaman.
Related: Who Is Black Manta?
Considering what we know of how Aquaman will handle its villains, it's unclear if either Orm or Black Manta will fully become their comic book counterparts in this movie. Since Orm is referred to as King Orm in Entertainment Weekly's coverage, rather than Ocean Master, he may not adopt that moniker until late in the film - if at all. Similarly, EW's photo of Black Manta only features the villain's helmet, so it's unknown when in the movie he'll assemble the full suit.
Orm Is An 'Eco-Warrior'
EW spoke to Wan and Wilson about the main villain of the movie, specifically in regards to King Orm's motivations. According to Wilson, Orm is an "eco-warrior," and is looking to wage war on land dwellers in retaliation for humans polluting the oceans for many years. This lines up with the Aquaman synopsis that surfaced even before the movie started filming.
That early synopsis detailed a conflict between the denizens of the seven underwater kingdoms and those living on land. However, since Curry's the son of an Atlantean and a human, he has a stake in both sides of the potential war. It also indicates from where the conflict between Orm and Arthur will arise - their differing views on what should be done.
How Aquaman Is Different From Other DC Movies
Unlike other entries in the DCEU, Aquaman is set in the underwater world of Atlantis. This allowed for Wan to create a whole "separate" world from movies like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League. Though we've seen glimpses of Aquaman's underwater realm in both Batman V Superman and Justice League, we'll see so much more of it in Wan's film. And that world is expansive, with seven different underwater kingdoms, soldiers riding great white sharks, and sea dragons.
Certainly, with those descriptions alone, Aquaman promises to be unlike anything else we've seen in the DC movie universe thus far. And fans are keen to get a look at that underwater world for themselves in the first Aquaman trailer, when that arrives "soon."
How Aquaman Handles Dialogue
One of the discussion points surrounding Aquaman has been how it will handle underwater dialogue. Justice League featured Aquaman and Mera creating an air pocket for themselves to speak freely, but Arthur Curry's solo outing will take a slightly different approach - one that's much simpler. As Wan explained, the characters of Aquaman will just talk like normal underwater. Considering the Atlanteans are a race of people living underwater, that certainly makes the most sense.
Aquaman Sets DCEU 'On The Right Path'
EW kicked off their Aquaman coverage with some insight from Warner Bros. executives and other creatives behind the film. Former DC Entertainment head Geoff Johns praised the "big bright colorful action" of Aquaman, teasing a much different kind of DC movie. Plus, producer Peter Safran touted Aquaman as "an extraordinary step in [the] DCEU," which will no doubt please fans who have been disappointed by the DC movies of recent years.
Undoubtedly, Aquaman will be a very different kind of DC film just by virtue of its setting and character, but perhaps that will only help Wan's installment to become another hit in this comic book movie franchise.