Director James Wan discussed how Justice League offered him the perfect starting point for Arthur Curry’s story during an interview with i09.
Although James Wan’s Aquaman will be the first live-action film to feature the eponymous hero in the lead role, Jason Momoa previously portrayed Arthur Curry in Batman v Superman and Justice League. However, James Wan explained that instead of making the film a prequel to Justice League, he found that the superhero team-up film provided him with the perfect starting point to tell Arthur’s origin story:
I realized there’s a way I could get around that. I could do his solo movie, post-Justice League, but still make it an origin story. And, obviously, a big part of that is due to the fact that in Justice League, Jason’s character, Arthur, looks so different and has such a different personality to him. I felt that I could actually take him on his character arc for him to realize the hero that he needs to be by the end of the movie, and, henceforth, he becomes the Aquaman as we know it from the comic book. That really is the case. And when you start doing that and start to give him his own journey, literally, his own path that he has to take, he goes to such a different world that doesn’t tie-in with the bigger universe so to speak. It is literally his stand-alone film.”
Wan elaborated, saying that Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry in Justice League is different enough that he could take a journey to become the Aquaman fans are familiar with in the comics:
Having Momoa start off as just kind of a loner and a guy that doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone meant that he starts off in one extreme way, and I could steer him more and more towards the other way.
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From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an acition-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm / Ocean Master, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, and Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry.
Aquaman will be released in theaters on December 21, 2018.