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James Wan and Jason Momoa have finally unveiled the anticipated first trailer for his superhero movie Aquaman.
The Comic-Con panel began with the sound of roaring waters filling Hall H. Jason Momoa, strutting like a rock star, walked out to screams as loud as the water. Wan joined Momoa on stage, along with stars Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
“I wanted to create a superhero film that we’ve never quite seen before,” Wan said. “I wanted our film to be more unique. So my movie plays more like a science-fiction fantasy film than a traditional super hero movie.”
Abdul-Maten II revealed that he didn’t know how to swim when he got the role of villain Black Manta. “I taught myself in the mornings and evenings. I bought goggles, a kickboard, and swam at the hotel pool.” Ironically, in the end, because much of the work was on wires and in harnesses, he didn’t need to swim.
Wilson, also playing a villain, described his experience as “the most physically exhausting movie I’ve ever done. You know when you hear stunt guys say, “I’ve never done this before,’ you’re in uncharted territory.”
After playing a trailer that also went online (see below), Wan and his team introduced even more footage, a six-minute sizzle reel, that was exclusive to the Hall H crowd.
The footage included a shot of Momoa wearing the old-school yellow outfit from the comics, as well as an action sequence featuring Kidman’s Atlanna. It also showed Aquaman and Mera (Heard) a desert city, unlocking secrets. There were armored sharks and dragons galore, as well as a fight scene with Aquaman and Mera fleeing Black Manta (Abdul-Mateen) and his armored goons.
“What could be greater than (being) a king?”Aquaman asks. “A hero,” says Mera.
Before Heard’s Aquaman appearance, the Warner Bros. presentation also included a brief appearance from her ex-husband Johnny Depp, who delivered a speech in character during the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald panel. His casting in Fantastic Beasts has become controversial, forcing series creator J.K. Rowling to issue a statement defending his continued involvement in the franchise. Heard previously leveled allegations of domestic violence against the actor, later dropping the allegations and retracting a request for a restraining order as their divorce was settled in 2016. The presentation was Depp’s first major public appearance since the release of a widely read Rolling Stone profile that painted a detailed portrait of a troubled star.
This was the most highly anticipated trailer of Comic-Con, and Wan has had to explain over the past few months why no trailer had been released yet. He tweeted in February that he wasn’t showing off anything until the visual effects were ready. “I am simply not ready yet to share,” he wrote. “This movie is filled to the gills with VFX, and the process is as slow and laborious as a sea-slug! Yes, even shots for the trailers take forever to do, and I refuse to put out anything that might be construed as subpar.” The first footage ever shown was back at CinemaCon in April, but that was not made public.
Aquaman opens Dec. 21.
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