Once courted by Marvel Studios to play Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, Jason Momoa was snatched up soon after by competing studio Warner Bros. to play Aquaman (also known as Arthur Curry). He’s expected to have a small role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before starring in his own solo film as well as the Justice League films.
Zack Snyder tweeted the first official photo of Jason Momoa as the King of Atlantis and Aquaman has never looked more bad*ss (also take note of the hashtag #unitetheseven):
— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) February 20, 2015
What’s most striking about this image is how it embodies Polynesian culture, especially fitting since Momoa is Hawaiian. It brings a whole new level and depth to the character.
He’s holding the most recognizable element of Aquaman – the trident. As Snyder is quick to remind us: “The cool thing with Aquaman is his trident – people don’t realize that can actually cut the flesh of Superman if they came in contact. That’s a thing that’s in the canon.” So can we expect to see that become canon in the movie universe as well?
You can also see the ‘A’ design on his belt, which has been an important part of Aquaman’s costume in comics.
The other things that stand out in this image are the heavy body ink and armor. He sports the armor of a Retiarius – a gladiator from Ancient Rome who fought with equipment styled like that of a fisherman, including the one-shoulder armor you can see here.
Tribal tattoos go back centuries (including with Momoa’s Hawaiian ancestors) and are a form of armor in and of themselves, representing courage and battle strength. You can see spearhead tattoos covering his upper body, tattoos over his hands and stomach, and shark teeth tattoos/engravings on his left arm which Momoa has in real life and explains:
“It’s something my cousins all have, and it goes on the left side of your arm—it’s like a guardian. It’s basically like your power animal, whatever animal represents your family or your tribe. And ours is a shark, a mano. And then there are arrows that face out—out of your heart, that’s what it represents.”
I don’t think there’s anything cooler than an actor getting to connect so personally and deeply to his character. Not to mention, as Momoa also says: “I’m someone who gets to represent all the islanders, not some blond-haired superhero. It’s cool that there’s a brown-skinned superhero.”
It’s definitely a breath of fresh air.
I am very excited to see this take on Aquaman, especially given how he’s been looked down upon in the past. Jason Momoa is a fantastic actor and I think he’ll bring something we’ve never seen to this character.
What do you think? Do you like this first look at Aquaman? Are you excited to see what Jason Momoa does with the role? Share your thoughts in the comments!