You know Aquaman. And you know Aquaman’s costume. The bright orange and green. And you’ve seen it in properties and adaptations like the Superfriends cartoons. For so long, many figured that such a costume would be difficult to adapt to screen because of how it’s been lambasted throughout Aquaman’s tenure. Not to say that it’s impossible or that Aquaman only has one specific outfit, as we saw him with a more armored look in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But director James Wan has an eye for the creative.
And what we’ve seen thus far between screenshots and trailers for the Aquaman movie, right down to Arthur Curry appearing in the classic costume, has shown the creativity taken with bringing Arthur’s classic comic-book costume to life. And in a recent interview, James Wan admits that even he finds the costume to look a bit campy and cheesy. And indeed, looking at it within the context of Superfriends, it is. Comic book adaptations aren’t above acknowledging the cheesiness of the their comic roots. Think the “yellow spandex” like from the first X-Men film.
But with Aquaman, James Wan had to find a way to properly bring this outfit to life, as he explains in the latest issue of Total Film.
“The suit is kind of campy… So I’m like, ‘How do I make it cool for today’s audience?’ The other thing I wanted to get right, too, is his classic weapon, his trident. I wanted to make sure that it’s actually a trident.”
So it sounds like going from the armor that we’ve seen in Dawn of Justice and Justice League to what we have in Aquaman was a challenging process, but James Wan feels assured that translating the classic look for modern audiences was indeed feasible. Sometimes, you have to start with something a bit different before working your way up to the classic interpretation. Again, going back to X-Men, we didn’t get the yellow and blue designs until First Class, or the Jim Lee and Chris Claremont designs until X-Men Apocalypse.
So there’s precedent for the challenges of translating classic comic book costumes and designs to screen because you want to respect the source material, but also not make them seem too cheesy for audiences. But in a day and age where superhero adaptations on the small and big screen are so rampant, audiences probably wouldn’t hesitate at accepting the classic Aquaman design being brought to screen. And Jason Momoa concurred in the challenge of bringing the classic costume to life:
“It’s a hard suit to pull off. He’s been literally ridiculed his whole career. I feel like the real die-hard Aquaman fans are going be like, ‘Yes!'”
What do you think? Do you believe that audiences are ready to accept the classic design for Aquaman’s costume? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman.
The film will swim into theaters on December 21, 2018.