Comic Book Casting: The AQUAMAN Movie

The idea of what could (and couldn’t) fit for a live action superhero movie has been relatively insular until recent years. The tendency has been to either go dark, go campy, or go middle of the road. But with recent movies like The Dark Knight trilogy and Thor, we’ve begun to peel back the page to see there’s room for more than just the status quo. And for an Aquaman movie you definitely need to think outside the box.

The Concept:

To fight back from the years of built-up ridicule, it’s important to reposition Aquaman as an important and serious character in his realm. Casting a net into the murky waters of comics lore, I’d pull out the idea that Arthur Curry is the offspring of a forbidden romance between a human oceanologist and an Atlantean princess. Although they consummated their relationship, they were ultimately pulled apart by Atlantean royalty and above-land government agents with their son, Aquaman, the only proof it ever happened. Raised by his father, Aquaman enjoys a relatively normal human life until as a young adult he’s being pulled back to his mother’s homeland after a bitter civil war left him, a half-breed, as the only heir to the throne of Atlantis. Queue bitter Atlantean rivals and the resumption of U.S. government investigations, and you’ve got a movie.

The movie would balance itself between two worlds — the majestic undersea Atlantis and the above-land American soil; not too dissimilar to the way Thor balanced two drastically different settings. It’s important to build a thriving and believable world under the waves that is more similar to Avatar than to Seaquest DSV. And I think I know just the man to do it.

The Director:

Where can you find a director comfortable filming blockbuster movies and also have understanding of the logistics of underwater action? Sorry James Cameron, but I’d prefer another: Luc Besson. Best known for films like The Fifth Element and The Professional, Besson has become one of the most popular mainstream filmmakers in Europe. He also has a secret origin: his parents were SCUBA instructors and his original plans for a career were to become a marine biologist. Although a diving accident resulted in him being unable to pursue that career, Besson did a number of documentaries about the ocean that showed just how passionate he is about what lies beneath the waves. Besson could definitely bring about the majesty of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis while also emphasizing the real-world elements.

The Cast:

Aquaman – Alexander Skarsgård: Skarsgård has become one of the newest “It” actors after his star turn on True Blood, and could really break out with the right blockbuster film role — and Aquaman could be just that. As one of the few actors with the build and the acting chops to carry a movie like this, Alexander would be a commanding presence for both the boys and girls watching in theatres.

Black Manta – Lennie James: British actor Lennie James has brought a real sense of nuanced realism to the productions he’s been a part of; he really defined the first episode of The Walking Dead, and was the best part of the TV series Jericho. James could really be a threatening villain while showing sincere motivation that an Aquaman movie would need to be plausible. We’d have to talk about the helmet.

Tula – Dichen Lachman: In comics, Aquaman’s one-and-only is Mera but I’d like to break that idea with another at first. Much in the vein of Lana Lang to Superman, I think reviving Tula (aka Aquagirl) as a Atlantean counterpart to Arthur Curry in this movie could really humanize the undersea contigent.

Tom Curry – Rutger Hauer: Rutger Hauer might be best known for his villainous (Blade Runner) and just plain crazy (Hobo With A Shotgun) roles, but I think he could surprise people playing a father figure and also someone with a lost love.

Atlanna – Tilda Swinton: She’s not evil, but she’s got her own people to watch out for. Romanced by Rutger Hauer-as-Tom-Curry years before, Atlanna is now all that’s left of the royal family and as a last ditch effort to save her kingdom and see her son for the first time, she calls out for Arthur Curry. Tilda Swinton could really kill this role and keep it from becoming a one-dimensional “Evil witch” kind of character.


  1. As crazy as it might sound, I’d go see a movie with this cast and directed by Luc Besson! 0_o His action films are crazy and over the top, just think about Taxi (no, not the American remake with Queen Latifah, mind you!) or like you mentionned, Léon le Professionnel (one of my personnal favorites).

    At the least, if EVER there is a Justice League movie, Alexander Skarsgard could totally pull off Aquaman on his own. Just like Jeremy Renner being Hawkeye in the Avengers (without prior stand-alone movie, I mean).

  2. @KillTheG1mp: Sorry for the reply, was trying to submit overall comment…

    Aquaman casting idea: matthew mcconaughey

    More ideas here:

  3. I would of never thought of Skarsgård. Good choice. What about Vinnie Chase (Adrian Grenier) from Entourage? Directed by James Cameron?

  4. i think this alexander cat from true blood is a horrible idea for aqua-man. im so sick of male vampires who are so pretty that they could pass as females. vampires should be scary, not girly.
    my first thought was chris pine, but i thnk matthew mcconaughey is a great idea too.
    i guess anyone who LOOKS like a man would be a good start.
    heres a crazy thought: how bout kiefer southerland? at least he played a manly vampire in lost boys

    • Why not cast Aquaman on the merits of if they played a manly vampire or not? Look at Heath Ledger, he played some of the strongest female wet dreams in the biggest Rom Coms and he played one amazing Joker.

  5. i dont care if he is a female wet dream or not. every actor is someone’s wet dream. thats not the point. heath ledger does not look like a girl. if your a fan of the show, thats fine. i’m not questioning any fans’ manhood. i just dont think he’s the right fit. perhaps i should have added someone who looks like a man and not a boy

    • Did you ever see him Generation Kill? He was great in that.

    • Generation Kill as a whole was fantastic, but yes, he was great in that. I refer to him in Generation Kill more than True Blood. Maybe we will see Aquaman picking his shits between battles.

    • have not. do u think he is the best choice for aqua-man? i just dont see it

    • picking his shits?

    • Josh will get it. Generation Kill, Skarsgards character likes to take shit, but knows when to pick his time, otherwise it will be interrupted by battle or movement.

    • Skarsgard is a good actor, and he has had opportunities to show some range on True Blood, everything from childlike to psychotic killer, and he pulls them off very well. Plus, he certainly has the build for the part.

      and Any actor worth his weight in salt can protray more than just themselves.

      Sitara119, who would you like to see cast as Arthur, if not Skarsgard.

    • I think it’s an inspired bit of casting It’s a wonderful choice. The dude is Nordic, and therefore, he’s smooth. It’s not that he’s girly (which is a silly and not at all realistic way of looking at people). He looks like what a person who is part fish might look like. He’d glide through water. But at the same time, the dude is jacked. True Blood is not Twilight. Not even close. At this point, Skarsgard is the only part of True Blood I go back for.

    • Another possibility, which I have always thought, is DiCaprio?

    • I really don’t like DiCaprio, but… I could see it. Maybe cuz he spent so much time all soaked in Titanic.

    • He does look good wet.

    • as silly or unrealistic as looking at them as creepy. a judgement is a judgement is a judgement.
      ya know, maybe your right. he does look part tuna. he even looks part cat when hissing at the camera

    • i like dicaprio. he’d be good i think

  6. NIce premises and casting. I think I would go younger for Aquaman; protray him as a teenager, maybe 18ish. think it would play well with that instant responsibility that he would have to have as being the heir to an entire kingdom. Sort of in the realm of Spider-Man.

    I would keep Mera in and go with that “was hired to kill Arthur” story line. It be a great way to show Arthur’s charisma and possibly his leadership as Mera joins him in the eventual fight to save atlantis.

    Good Work, Chris.

  7. But who would play Topo? That’s where this casting breaks down for me.

  8. I think we are all missing Rutger Hauer as Tom Curry, that is one fine piece of casting.

    Lighthouse keeper with a shot gun.

  9. Lennie James is the best choice I’ve seen so far in this feature.

    He is PERFECT at being a villain and I could totally see him do Black Manta.

  10. knowing hollywood, an executive and power agent somewhere will talk themselves into casting Michael Phelps in the role….and fandom will cry.

  11. Danny McBride IS Aquaman.

  12. Chris, I’m afraid your Aquaman movie won’t make enough money. Here, let me help you out….

    Directed by Josh Whedon
    Robert Downey Jr. as Author Curry/Aquaman
    Sam Jackson as Black Manta
    Scarlett Johanson as Tula
    Stellan Skarsgard as Ton Curry
    and Chris Hemsworth as Atlanna

  13. How about Will Forte as Arthur Curry? He was amazing in Macgruber.

  14. Skarsgård is, without a doubt, the best thing about True Blood. He embodies the goofier elements of the character and series, but does it in a way to make him seem intimidating. His portrayal made Eric one of my favorite fictional vampires.

    That’s why I think he’ll be perfect as Aquaman. He has that uncanny ability to both play up the camp and seem serious simultaneously.

  15. is it me or does tilda swinton look like conan o’brian?

  16. This casting is so perfect, I will be watching this movie in my head all day. I’d watch just about anything if I found out both Lennie James and Dichen Lachman were in it!

  17. I can get behind this.

  18. I think Thomas Jane would be a great Auqaman or if he wasn’t already playing Thor Chris Hemsworth would be perfect as well. Agree with Sitara about Skarsgård I just don’t see it but it could be just that pic of him but he looks a little wimpy too pull off the king of Atlantis IMO.


    Bit of scruff that might suit the new Justice League Aquaman.

  20. I’d be very interested to see how this turns out, it could be done very well. Or it could turn out to be another Green Lantern let down 🙁
    It’s hard to get that balance on screen. And when I think about it, Green Lantern had a good enough balance, it was just the story itself that didn’t seem to have a middle and end, it just sailed gently with no impact.

    I like the idea of getting the government involved in the Aquaman story, it definately grounds it.