It’s been one of the biggest questions in comic book moviedom for years now: Would big-screen Aquaman Jason Momoa ever don the aquatic superhero’s classic orange-and-green ensemble modeled in the pages of DC Comics and in the vintage cartoons?
That look has defined the character — for better and for worse — since Aquaman’s comic book debut in 1941, but when Zack Snyder introduced the half-human, half-Atlantean hero in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by last year’s Justice League, Momoa’s muted costume was a distinct departure from his comics counterpart. (It more closely resembled the version glimpsed in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, which takes place in another, much darker reality.)
Neither Aquaman’s orange shirt nor his green pants were glimpsed in the official trailer for his first solo adventure, which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend and hit the internet soon after.
Watch the Aquaman trailer:
But those lucky SDCC attendees who were in Hall H for the trailer’s premiere did witness something the rest of the world has yet to see. In an exclusive Comic-Con-only sneak peek, Momoa was clearly glimpsed in Aquaman’s iconic costume. Yahoo Entertainment was in the room for that reveal and couldn’t help asking the star about it afterward.
“I thought we were in the circle of trust,” Momoa said, laughing, before remembering that nothing that was shown in Hall H remained a secret for very long. (It should be noted that a life-sized Lego version of Momoa in vintage Aquaman orange was prominently displayed at Comic-Con, as well as authorized screen-accurate collectible statues, including one at the DC booth.) “It was pretty amazing to see [director] James [Wan]’s face when I put it on,” the actor continued. “It’s his dream come true, too, you know. So it was an amazing moment.”
In a separate interview, Wan confirmed that he kept the costume reveal secret for as long as he could, mainly because it ties into the film’s narrative arc, which finds Aquaman reluctantly returning to Atlantis to face off against his half-brother, Orm, aka Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson), in a battle for the throne.
“The story is basically ‘Aquaman goes through his hero’s journey to finally become the classic Aquaman as we know him,’” the director explained. For his part, Momoa compares that classic costume to a classic car. “I feel like a ’59 Cadillac — like an El Dorado; got the wings on the side, a little flare off the calf. And my nine-pack, which I don’t really have!”
Momoa isn’t the only Aquaman actor in love with his outfit, of course. Nicole Kidman revealed that she was persuaded to play Queen Atlanna largely by the costume sketches that Wan showed her early on. “James had a strong vision for her from the very beginning; I saw the drawings and renderings, and I was like, ‘I’m in — yes, please.’”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who suits up as Aquaman’s other nemesis, Black Manta, got positively giddy describing the jet propellers and knives that are built into his costume. “The fans, they nagged me for over a year — ‘Tell us what it’s going to look like’ — so I’m glad I can finally share that excitement with them now.” And while Wilson’s Ocean Master may not have as cool a costume as his rival for the throne, he wins bragging rights for the most costumes. “The suits were awesome,” he said of his alter ego’s various forms of underwater armor.
Aquaman opens in theaters Dec. 21.
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