Justice League costar Jason Momoa proved to be a source of entertainment throughout production on the next Zack Snyder-helmed DC Extended Universe installment; in-between his antics on the movie’s and set during its wrap-up festivities. Everyone will get to properly meet Momoa’s version of Arthur Curry/Aquaman when Justice League arrives next year – though he’s not the only aquatic Meta-Human featured in the film. Reports on the project’s shoot in Iceland have revealed that the characters of Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe) are part of the scenes that were filmed there.
Aquaman, Vulko and Mera will reunite on the big screen less than a year after Justice League hits the scene, during Insidious and Furious 7 director James Wan’s solo character DCEU film, Aquaman. There are still major casting announcements to be made for Wan’s superhero movie – namely, the identity of the actor playing the villain (heavily rumored to be Black Manta) – before it starts principal photography. However, with Aquaman having already appeared in the DCEU (via a brief cameo in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Mera’s DCEU costume having already been unveiled, Wan is now keeping busy taking questions about what these main players in his DCEU film are like.
Wan previously likened his vision for Aquaman to a “swashbuckling action-adventure” and that extends to the relationship between Arthur Curry and Mera – with Wan having told Bustle, “I really want to get the classic action-adventure-romance aspect through that, and I think that’s kind of fun.”He described the Aquaman/Mera dynamic in the film as follows:
“It starts off initially with them not quite clicking with each other. But then as the story progresses as they learn to try and work together, they get closer and closer. I think those stories are always such a great place for a filmmaker like myself to have fun with my actors.”
Aquaman and Mera have long had a difficult relationship, throughout their various DC Comics iterations over the years. Mera, in her earliest comic book appearances, was even trained to despise all Atlanteans and kill Aquaman, before the two of them fell in love instead. It doesn’t sound as though that particular backstory for Mera is going to be carried over for the DCEU continuity, though Wan did indicate to Bustle that Heard’s version of the Mera character will be as equally strong as her comic book counterpart – and make for an effective (romantic) foil to Momoa’s Aquaman:
“I think that dynamic will be really interesting between the two. Amber’s character is super strong, she’s very powerful as well. You don’t wanna mess with her. I think Amber will bring that sense of strength, but at the same time, we also want someone who has a sort of feminine quality to her as well. She’s a bit of a contrast to Momoa, who’s more of a muscular machine almost.”
Wan also described Aquaman as being like “Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Romancing the Stone,” during a previous interview. While it sounds as though the dynamic between Aquaman and Mera in Wan’s film will be reminiscent of that between Joan Wilder and Jack Colton in Romancing the Stone, Wan’s latest description of Mera and Aquaman makes the couple sound more similar to Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones from Raiders, more than anything else. Most would probably agree that this is a good general template to follow, when it comes to portraying Aquaman and Mera’s frequently-testy romance.
Perhaps most intriguing is how Wan’s comments about Aquaman and its characters make his DC superhero film sound different (in a good way) than other DCEU movies currently in the pipeline. The variety in relationships that will be depicted in these movies – see the romances between Steve Trevor/Diana Prince in Wonder Woman and Barry Allen/Iris West in The Flash, as well as that between Aquaman and Mera – is equally welcome, as a way of making sure each DCEU installment feels more fresh and distinct from their peers.