It was a pleasant surprise when it was announced that Jason Momoa will be the Aquaman in the film Justice League. After his Khal Drogo act in Game Of Thrones, the actor was perceived to be the perfect villain material.
However, when director Zack Synder told him he was not going to be some bad guy fighting Batman, but will be the superhero Aquaman, Jason was taken by surprise. In a chat, the actor reveals more about the casting process, his love for comics and more...
Q What went through your mind when director Zack Snyder first approached you about playing Arthur Curry / Aquaman and reinventing this iconic Super Hero for a new generation?
Jason Momoa: When Zack first approached me, it was a bit of a mystery because when I went in for the audition, he wanted me to read for Batman — and Ben [Affleck] had already been cast in the role by that point. So, I knew something fishy was going on and just read the lines with a lot of attitude, like I
didn’t care what was on the page (laughs)! And then Zack asked me, ‘Do you know who I want you to play?’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll be a villain or some bad dude who comes in and fights Batman — sounds like fun.’ He said, ‘I want you to play Aquaman.’
So, I was just standing there, kind of in shock. All I could think of was the traditional Aquaman from the comics — who is white and blond and wears the orange and green costume. I thought he had to be joking… but Zack had this look on his face. He said, ‘Hear me out,’ and told me that he wanted the Aquaman in this film to be an outsider, along the lines of Clint Eastwood’s character, the Outlaw Josey Wales. I was born in Hawaii and raised in Iowa, and basically grew up an outsider, so I could definitely identify with that.
Q How much did you know about the Justice League prior to becoming involved in the film? Were you a comic book or Super Hero fan growing up?
JM: Absolutely. I was a big comic book fan. I read a lot of different comics when I was a kid, and obviously loved Batman and ‘superhero’ movies in general. When Tim Burton’s Batman came out, it just blew my mind; I was amazed by that film. But I hadn’t read a lot of Justice League prior to this film, so I did my research. I also had the opportunity to meet with producer Geoff Johns, and he’s just a wealth of knowledge about Aquaman and the entire DC universe.
Q You recently wrapped filming Aquaman’s first-ever solo feature with director James Wan. Can you give us a tease of what audiences can expect?
JM: All your questions will be answered next year (laughs). The cool thing about Aquaman is that it’s an origin story, and where we start and where we end up is just going to be amazing. It really is a beautiful movie, and I feel really lucky to be part of it. James is fantastic to work with and what we shot in Australia, which was incredible.
We’ve never seen an epic adventure under the ocean like this, and we haven’t seen an undersea world like the one we’re creating in the movie. I’m already excited to watch the movie with my children, and for other kids to see it.
My son plays with Batman non-stop and it’ll be cool to see what he thinks now that there are Aquaman action figures. I haven’t made too many movies that my children have gotten to watch, so I’m really looking forward to that.