10:25am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Aquaman' Director Says DC Hero Is Like X-Men's Wolverine
Sure, even the Justice League teaser from Comic-Con makes a joke about Aquaman talking to fish, but James Wan — who'll direct Jason Momoa in the stand-alone Aquaman spinoff movie following the hero's Justice League appearance — wants the world to know that the cinematic version of the DC hero is anything but all wet.
"I actually think it's a brilliant move on Zack [Snyder, Justice League director] and co. to cast someone like Jason," Wan told IGN. "Immediately, the whole joke aspect of Aquaman goes out the window. You have such a muscular, superhero-y character and one that is almost, to me, in some ways ... I look at him, he's kind of the Wolverine in some respect."
Wait — Wolverine? The feral breakout star of the X-Men franchise who struggles with his berserker rage and mysterious past? That Wolverine? Apparently so — but Wan has reasons behind the comparison.
"[Aquaman is] the outsider who gets pulled into this world and he kind of doesn't want to belong and he was doing his own thing," he argued. "And he prided freedom above everything else. That kind of plays nicely into who his character is. He's like a reluctant superhero, right? He's the reluctant king, basically, or would-be king."
The director pointed to Geoff Johns' 2011-2013 run on DC's Aquaman comic as a particular touchstone for the solo movie. "I really think he took this character that had become the joke of the superhero world and made him frickin' cool again," Wan said.
During Johns' 26-issue run on the title, Aquaman deals with an invasion from an undersea race called the Trench, tries to stop a war between Atlantis and the surface world, fights for the throne of Atlantis and deals with supervillains Ocean Master and Black Manta. The latter villain is rumored to be the bad guy in Wan's movie, but when asked, he laughed and said, "Dude, you know I can't tell you that!" Well, it's not a denial …
Aquaman is scheduled for a 2018 release.