It’s always nice when a comic book movie actor knows what they’re talking about.
Obviously, if someone like Ryan Reynolds first really becomes aware of a character because of a movie they’re being considered for, and then goes on to embrace the role and all its nerdy comic book origin, that’s absolutely great.
But when an actor is able to namedrop which moderately obscure comic character they most resemble in an interview, it’s incredibly reassuring – especially when the actor’s performance of Aquaman is straying somewhat from convention, and when the movie franchise in question is plagued with constant critical turmoil.
In a recent interview, Jason Momoa spoke publicly about the moment when Zack Snyder offered him a role. Apparently, it seems, Momoa had assumed he’d be getting the chance to play a very different character:
“Dude, there was a lot of things that went through my head when he said Aquaman. There were a lot of things that went through my mind. I was thinking like, 'Lobo.' I'm gonna play some kind of bad guy. I'm like, 'Who am I gonna play?'
“And yeah, he said Aquaman. I was just like, 'Come again? Pardon me?'”
Momoa’s reaction to Snyder’s offer is probably the same one we all had when learning that the enormous Polynesian would be taking on the role – Momoa is not exactly in keeping with the classic Aquaman appearance.
Of course, it’s hard to watch an enormous metal monstrosity walking dramatically into crashing waves without totally buying Momoa in the role. Zack Snyder has made a lot of mistakes (a LOT of mistakes), but his casting for Aquaman is far better than anyone could have ever imagined.
There’s always a battle going on among comic book fans as to how accurate a movie portrayal of a comic character should be.
Robert Downey Jr, for example, is a far cry from the Tony Stark of Marvel comics pre-2007, but his performance is so enjoyable that for the most part, fans overlook the lack of comic book authenticity.
The MCU Iron Man works, though, because the changes are for the better – they make a compelling and enjoyable movie character out of a comic book equivalent who was, at the time, about as dour and unlikeable as a character could possibly be (have a read of the first Civil War comic event to see Iron Man lock up all of his friends in a far less friendly way than the movie of the same name).
Jason Momoa is a great Aquaman for the same reason that the character always ends up as the butt of jokes – for all that various writers and artists have attempted to make Aquaman more interesting, most readers still think of the character as pretty bland and dumb.
Perhaps, though, there’s another reason why Momoa works. If this mountain of a man, in addition to being a talented actor and an excellent guitarist, also reads enough DC comics to know who Lobo is, he’s definitely right for the role.
Because, heck, even if Momoa had only read a handful of DC comics before signing on for the role, he probably had a better understanding of the characters than Zack “Superman should be a jerk” Snyder.