Aquaman's Keys to
The Warner Bros./DC film empire has been built
clumsily over the last several years, but it seems at this point itís too
late to turn back. The connected franchises that make up the DC Extended
Universe are pushing forward, and if
Wonder Woman was any indication, it may just have some new legs in the
form of individual films based on specific heroes.
Aquaman is next up, and now that
the first trailer has dropped, itís time to think about what this film
needs to do in order to be a success on its own as well as an asset to a
Several key factors come to mind.
A Sense of Purpose
One thing that has largely plagued the DC movies to
this point is that theyíve been devoid of purpose. While they have at times
faithfully adapted tales from the DC Comics, theyíve also relied on fans
understanding those tales for there to be any sort of meaningful stakes.
Wonder Woman was different in that
the film established a reason for her to turn superhero and to engage with
the mortal world from the start. In a vacuum, devoid of comic knowledge, the
film was compelling and made sense.
Aquaman needs to operate similarly to succeed.
A Connection to The
One of the most notable things in the first trailer
for Aquaman is that Jason Momoa,
who plays the lead role, speaks in a decidedly modern vernacular. Thatís
good, because much of the rest of the trailer looks wholly unrelatable,
including the borderline cheesy underwater scenery. This film is almost
inherently a reach for people who want to take superhero movies somewhat
seriously, and having Aquaman himself appear to be a real person from 2018
thrust into underwater adventures would go a long way toward solving that
Something that helped to set
Black Panther aside among superhero movies was that the bulk of its
combat was realistic, based in actual martial arts and war-fighting styles.
filmís stunt coordinator was inspired by Jackie Chan, ancient Sparta, and
Zulu spear-fighting. This gave the combat a decidedly tactile feel, as
opposed to the zappy, laser-y building-smashing that takes place so
frequently in superhero films these days. If
Aquaman can learn this lesson it
will at least be in line to produce some compelling action sequences.
DC has actually done rather well with video games.
The Injustice series ropes in all of the key characters, and there are some
popular online slot arcades with DC themes as well. Casino sites these days
invite players to investigate the game offerings to find
unique choices and thus choose where to play, and this makes DC a valuable
licensing partner. Even there however, Aquaman doesnít stand alone. This
film and the potential series to follow will be more successful if itís able
to spawn a few games - be they slots, apps, or even full console quality.
Costume & Toy Potential
Costumes and toys reach a different audience than
games in some cases (and a younger one), but donít think they canít speak to
a filmís popularity with adults as well. Cosplay has been mainstreamed to
some extent, and plenty of people still love their film and comic book
collectibles as well. So, as with games, one key factor to gauge
Aquamanís success could be what
sort of market it leads to with costumes and toys.
A Logical Follow-Up
We know now that
Wonder Woman essentially earned
itself a sequel through its quality and popularity among moviegoers. This is
significant not just in that it means more money and another adventure, but
specifically because it allows the character to build a sub-franchise aside
from the relative train wreck of the collaborative DC efforts.
Aquaman will be a success if it
can do the same, and to do so effectively there needs to be a logical path
toward a sequel with the way this first installment ends.
A Star Turn from Jason
To put it bluntly, not everyone is thrilled with the
selection of Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Sure, he looks the part in that like
Chris Hemsworth heís almost beast-like in his physical appearance, and heís
more feasible than most actors as an amphibious hero wielding a scepter. But
some believe more seasoned actors would have been better suited to the role.
We Got This Covered even made a list of
actors who ďdeservedĒ it more. As he proved in
Game of Thrones however, Momoaís got chops, and a star turn in this
movie would quiet the criticism and build a lot of excitement.
Posted: September 11, 2018.