What Makes Jason Momoa’s Aquaman Different From the Comic Books

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies DC
Movies DC

When it was first announced that Aquaman was coming to the big screen, some fans were dubious. Not as iconic perhaps as DC superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, the character has suffered at the hands of TV adaptations and has historically been perceived as having somewhat feeble powers and abilities – and mocked in popular culture as a result. But in casting Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa as the aquatic superhero, who made his debut in Justice League, hopes are high for this big-screen iteration of Arthur Curry. Fandom asked Momoa just what it is that makes his version of Aquaman distinct.

“I think there’s a lot of differences [from the comic books],” he says. “Just to pick on facial hair and skin tone and colour of hair. There’s quite a big difference.”

What about beyond appearance?

“When I first came on [to the project], I had a lot of time with [DC Comics Chief Creative Officer] Geoff Johns to sit down and talk about why Aquaman was amazing and what I had to offer, and what I could bring to the table,” says Momoa. “So there are some similarities. I’ve spent a good amount of time [in the film] becoming the king. I don’t think we really become the king until the last frames of this movie so whatever’s in all the comics, he’s fully lived as king of Atlantis and I think he’s a little bit stronger than what I’ve played. You know what I mean? I’ve constantly been the reluctant king, so I look forward to maybe more. We’ll see.”

Jason Momoa Dons the Classic Costume

Jason Momoa in the classic Aquaman costume.

Although Jason Momoa sees the main differences in appearance, strength and Arthur’s reluctance to embrace his destiny in the film, perhaps the biggest similarity to comic-book Aquaman is in his wearing of the classic costume. Momoa says it was seeing both his kids’ and director James Wan’s reactions that told him all he needed to know about the impact of that suit.

“My first experience wearing the costume for the first time was through my children’s eyes and through James Wan’s eyes, because I Face-Timed my kids — and I have the picture and their little faces were so blown away,” he says. “And then James, it was his dream to finally [see me] don that suit, so it was amazing because I felt like it was a really big moment for him. Just to see that on his face…”

And why was it important for Arthur to wear it?

“Why was it important for Arthur to become the king? It’s kind of the point of the story, but it’s definitely his whole goal to know that he’s the rightful king of this,” says Momoa.

He Didn’t Want Aquaman to Be Too Much of a D—

Finally, Momoa says that Wan’s movie gives them a chance to explore Arthur Curry’s childhood and fully understand why he behaves the way he does.

“I think one of the biggest challenges of playing this character is [that] you see him in Justice League, which is like a weekend in his life, and you want to be crass and a smartass and all the things that he was supposed to be — that outsider — without being too much of a d—, and really understanding why he is the way he is,” he says. “I think with James’s movie, it’s the origin film, so you get to see what he’s like when he’s a boy, what it’s like him not having his mother and then finally getting there. And it’s really the people around him that believe in him, so hopefully you get a sense of why Arthur is the way that he is.”

Watch Jason Momoa talk Aquaman in the video above. Aquaman hits screens in the UK on December 12, the US on December 21 and Australia on December 26.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.