Warner Bros. unveiled rough footage from “Aquaman” at CinemaCon on Tuesday, with the cast and crew promising that the finished project will rival the sense of adventure and epic scope found in “Indiana Jones,” “Star Wars,” and “The Lord of the Rings.”
The upcoming DC Comics adaptation will find the underwater lord battling his corrupt half-brother (Patrick Wilson, with a very blonde wig) after returning to the Kingdom of Atlantis. He is also tasked with trying to prevent a brewing conflict between the sea dwellers and the people on the “surface world.”
Jason Momoa reprised his “Justice League” role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, portraying the superhero as a man who “solves problems with his fists.”
“I’m a blunt instrument and I’m damn good at it,” Momoa says at one point in the footage.
The film will delve into Aquaman’s backstory. One of the more arresting images from the film finds a young Aquaman catching a trident with his bare hands.
Director James Wan said the film’s effects are very much a work-in-progress, but told the crowd of theater owners that he hoped they could “catch a glimpse of something that may represent the fun film I’m going for.”
Momoa and Wan were joined on stage in Las Vegas, where the annual exhibition industry confab is taking place, by Amber Heard. The actress plays Mera, the queen of Atlantis, and, in Heard’s telling, a warrior in her own right.
“She’s not a damsel in distress,” said Heard.
“Aquaman” opens on Dec. 21. In addition to “Aquaman,” DC also teased its forthcoming adaptation of “Shazam!,” with director David F. Sandberg calling the film a superhero version of “Big” that will work for family audiences. In a video, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins also teased the sequel to the superhero hit, revealing that it will be set in the 1980s.
A lot is riding on these films. DC has struggled to create a cinematic universe to rival Marvel’s interconnected superhero films. “Justice League” was a financial disappointment, and “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” were excoriated by critics.