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« Box Office: Here "Mamma Mia!" goes again, to #2 on the charts | Main | Fantasia 2018: Chained For Life »

Yes No Maybe So: "Aquaman"

by Ilich Mejía

After being announced four years ago, DC's Aquaman is finally showing some promising signs of life. Director James Wan was joined by the film's cast at Comic-Con this weekend where they presented members of the press and fans with the film's first official trailer. The film's stars Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Amber Heard (Mera) promised big action and a sci-fi fantasy, but more importantly Nicole Kidman was also there. 

Wonder Woman started turning some of us DC agnostics into intrigued believers. Will Aquaman uphold its predecessor's efforts? Before (or after) we get ahead of ourselves, let's pick its trailer apart after the cut...


  • Even though they're keeping Momoa and Patrick Wilson (playing the film's antagonist, Orm) exceedingly covered up given all the underwater events (and, um, audience expectations), the glimpses we got of the iridescent bodysuits and opulent metallic shields more than make up for the modesty. Kym Barrett of The Matrix fame clearly had the most fun dressing all the superheroes and underwater creatures of Wan's world. Kidman is playing aquatic royalty—finally earning that Queen title we've been throwing around a bit more loosely here for years—so be on the lookout for a crown for the books.
  • In a first-rate con Joanne The Scammer would be proud of, James Wan, a master of mood, impressed DC execs with his dread-soaked, often colorless filmography and then once he booked the job he went ahead and made a movie that actually looks... FUN? Vibrant, even! Good for you, James. 
  • This cast is unusually attractive. Too attractive. That's all. 


  • We wanna have a quick word with whoever decided to put Patrick Wilson in what looks like a man bun (or a French twist from some angles) because we have some questions. And yes, we will also be asking about the texture, color, and unusual fullness of Heard's wig. Wig aficionado Nicole Kidman was RIGHT THERE. No one thought they could spare a tiny chunk of that $160M+ budget to give her a wig consultant title and learn a few things from a pro? Shame.
  • A December release date seems presumptuous given how crowded that season will be with Oscar hopefuls of all sizes. Remember how poorly that worked out for DC last year when they released Justice League in the middle of November? Despite a big opening, that film still lost the studio over $50M. Hopefully Aquaman will benefit from better word of mouth and less entitled marketing. Otherwise, learn something from this, Tiffany.
  • Some of the underwater scenes come off as really low budget here which is absurd considering they refused to spend any money on a movie start wig consultant! No excuses.   


  • DC's fascination with a backstory continues as the movie seems to open with Aquaman's parents meeting. Hopefully Atlanna (Kidman) and Thomas (Temuera Morrison) get to be more than just loving, supportive parents. Morrison's stakes seem to be more complicated as he is the father of the film's hero and its villain, but we know Kidman too well to be fooled into thinking she'd ever settle for a one-note mom role.
  • Will be interesting to see how they explore Mera and Aquaman's relationship as they inevitably push it into romance, but their chemistry and friends and sidekicks seems much more ripe.
  • Seriously, is Wilson's shirt on the WHOLE time? 

We're all just aspiring Kidman completists at TFE. We're also half expecting an Asia O'Hara cameo. That means we're a YES. What are you leaning towards? 

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Reader Comments (26)

How is this even worth considering? Stop pushing the Nicole Kidman agenda, LOL.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

I'm a Maybe So leaning towards No. But, I must say that Mamoa's delivery of the line "Permission to come aboard?" DEFINITELY did some things to me. Fuck, he is so hot.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChris

half-brothers are the new evil stepmothers

the second pic looks like they've made a glammed-up sea monkeys™ movie


July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Honestly, between this and Shazam it seems the DC Universe is *finally* having some fun! I saw the CGI overload and excess from the Snyder school of thought still present but everything else looked much more promising. They have good characters, I hope they can turn it around a bit but both of those movies actually looked like enjoyable times at the movies.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

I rather eat shit.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMink Stole

Agree with Chris— I was surprised not to see "permission to come aboard?" firmly in the "yes" column.

Sadly, the coy and Kidmaniac pleasures of the first part of the trailer fell away by the end and I found myself bored. I think part of the problem is that the trailer is reading very vanilla. I think that feeling starts with Heard’s bland expositional line readings and inexplicable wigs and grows when we see man bun. Is this what they think edgy and fierce look like in 2018?

Hopefully it’s just a trailer problem because Momoa is such a fiery screen presence and the raw material is there—a biracial and interspecies superhero!.. But the still you used for "maybe so" demonstrates it pretty well— I felt like I didn’t know what aquaman’s Dad looked like after watching the trailer. Hopefully Morrison gets a real part.

Were they afraid that matching Momoa with equally powerful supporting players would light the screen on fire? They should have looked to black panther, where, in my opinion, the lead is actually the least compelling character. If you have a winning lead then don’t rely on him to carry the whole film!

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

@catbaskets - that's an interesting take, because I've always felt Mamoa was a pretty limited actor, and never did much of anything in his films, even on Game of Thrones. Grumbling your lines and having a permanent frown doesn't read as passionate or fiery or anything other than one-note.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I had an exam with my GI doctor a couple of weeks ago that was more pleasant than this 2.5 minutes of my life I'll never get back. I would have rather stared at a blank wall. No thank you.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Patrick Wilson should have consulted on his own wigs. He has been wearing a hair piece in real life for years.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

It will be bad, maybe fun, but bad

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

I'm a yes solely because i'm curious to see underwater fight scenes and Kidman but honestly, it looks terrible to me i hate the weird good ol' boy whooping and cockiness (and hated it in justic league too). to me it's such an awkward fit with an interspecies superhero.

There are so many amazing wigmakers in the world that I'm always stunned when movies get bad ones. Why don't they consult with like broadway wig makers or rupaul's wig makers or what not?

July 22, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Oof. I guess Nicole needed the paycheck.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEoghan McQ

No. Not a Kidman completist so this is an easy skip.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I am so dreading having to see this, but I have to see it for Nicole! I do like that it's colorful, even if it is giving me "Black Panther but underwater" vibes.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

How can I say no to "from director James Wan"?

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

No - looks trashy and cheap with bad acting.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Momoa looks like he’s having fun, but the trailer makes the movie looks garish and overblown. I’m a maybe so leaning no based on this trailer. Hopefully subsequent clips make this more appealing to me.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

A 160M budget movie have never looked so damn cheap.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterdan


July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Looks awful, particularly the effects.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commentertonytr

I think it could be good although I'm not really fond of Amber Heard's hair. It looks bad.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Ha, "learn something from this, Tiffany" got me.

I'm a tentative yes, only because I do love James Wan and Nicole Kidman. However, this really looks like it could be terrible...

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKeelay!

“Learn something from this, Tiffany.” LOL

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Is Amber Heard playing Ariel from The Little Mermaid? This looks cheap, like a low-rent Avatar underwater. I thought that running joke on Entourage was a joke ... I guess not.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

A bit Vegas glitzy cheesy But could be fun...

July 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDO

Looks like DC is finally noticing that the whole dark theme throughout all movies is not working. Aquaman was stellar, Shazam is gonna be great.

December 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJo

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