AQUAMAN: THE MOVIE
A Q U A M A N : T H E _ M O V I E
~~~ if it was to be done my way...!
by Luciano A. Pimentel
(hoping that James Cameron, Warner Bros. and DC are taking note, this time...!)
Casting the main part is easy - Paul Walker. He said so himself; he would do it. AQUAMAN is his favorite childhood hero - he turned down playing Superman but would never turn down THIS role... He is a far better choice than the Punisher-stygmatized Thomas Jane (once my choice - before he dyed his hair black that is) or a queer cowboy like Heath Ledger (once a leading candidate - not any longer!) or Boston-boy Mark Wahlberg (Boston boys can play the Human Torch or The Thing - but not a Sea King! Sorry...) or Ted McGinley (once a sound choice - but not really; he looks perfect but is such a poor acting talent his alleged perfection is quickly nullified!).
MERA is a tougher casting call to make, quite frankly... Julianne Moore is the current reigning redheaded queen of Hollywood - would she play this part though?
She has my vote, but still... Mayhaps any actress will do - just dye her hair red and choose her based on acting ability and willingness to play the part, not on anything else! Samantha Morton is a favorite of mine... There is Nicole Kidman, of course... Uma Thurman (alas, she was once Poison Ivy... and June too...) and Dina Meyer (but she was, quite recently at that, both Batgirl and Oracle...) and we may consider also Debra Messing (amazingly enough a convincing TV Mary-Magdalene... but no... not Mera material!). Allyson Hannigan? Just kidding... We may just as well cast a virtual unknown... it worked for Superman, eh?
The essential part of this production (as it should be for every production; take note, Tinseltown!) remains, however, the SCRIPT! That is the core of it all - and that is where I must intervene! This movie must not sin the way other genre flicks have sinned - and, in so doing, doomed themselves. The examples are many and all quite recent too - Daredevil, Batman & Robin, X-Men2, Hulk, Spider-Man2, Batman Begins, Catwoman, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Blade, Blade2, Blade: Trinity, Elektra, Wolverine, X-Men3, Fantastic Four, FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Losers...
All crammed way too many things in way too little screen time... Thus it made for an extremely (not extraordinary) frustrating moviegoeing experience for all who bothered to go see these wastes of celluloid in a theater...
With a movie exploiting the magnificence of the sea and the magic of ATLANTIS, one needs far more subtlety... far more refinement... far greater pacing than that!
Verily, AQUAMAN should be done in old-style Hollywood epics format... and, somehow, recent examples are to be found too - TROY and GLADIATOR of course! Surely ATLANTIS and AQUAMAN merit as much as these two - as much use of CGI to begin with! At least 80% of this film should take place underwater; hence the CGI... A brief history of Atlantis itself should precede the origin of Aquaman himself - just so all is clear when all the bad things start happening to the future King of the Seven Seas...
In this prelude, therefore, which would be all about Atlantis, the focus should be on the prophecy that two brothers shall always struggle for Atlantis - Kordax is exiled as his brother Orin assumes the throne - likewise, AQUAMAN's father is seen departing as his brother remains... he is also seen siring another son with an Inuit woman AFTER he has sired AQ himself with the beautiful Queen of Atlantis... Finally, he is seen fending off attacks from various demons - led by NULIAJUK and POSEIDON himself - and he vanishes, presumably in a mystical blaze of glory...
As a baby, AQ is abandoned on Mercy Reef - for he has, so it is believed, the Curse of Kordax upon him. They chop off his left hand so that the blood attracts sea predators and leave him to die a most cruel death. If the sharks do not get him, the tide will recede and he will suffocate out of water... that is, if he does not bleed to death first. However, after the departure of the sinister Atlantean party of six, appears the Lady of the Lake, who saves the infant, cauterizes his gaping wound and replaces his lost hand with a water-hand while one of her nymphs safekeeps the severed hand - yes, we'll see it again. The Lady dispatches the nymphs to Atlantis to send out her message of disapproval to the culprits; and to the distraught Queen who has lost her child, a message of hope - that her son will live and will become King. (Yes, the above segment is a retcon and a rewrite of the origin - like most film versions of four-color heroes are! I'd actually call it the DEFINITIVE AQUAMAN - the version that adds it all up and has it all together, at last! And it sure is about time...!)
Next the child is seen growing up with schools of dolphins - under the watchful eye of the Lady of the Lake who remains unseen. The water-hand's mysterious powers saves a dolphin from certain death - and the young heir to the throne of Atlantis is learning more how to make use of it each day that goes by. Always for good - when he attempts to harness its power for petty motives, such as revenge or retaliation, he finds himself growing ill. Simultaneously, he discovers his telepathic abilities and realizes that these he can use as a weapon, of sorts... and in a myriad of ways, too.
When he becomes a teen, a nymph under the strict orders of the Lady of the Lake appears to young AQ and lures him to the surface... Once there, she disappears and leaves him in the care of his eventual mentor, lighthouse keeper Arthur Curry.
The lighthouse keeper teaches him how to behave in the surface world... He tells him about many great sea explorers born to the surface world but belonging in the ocean, like him... And, when he dies, he leaves AQ his identity for the young outcast to use in the surface world if he so wishes to. AQ ventures into this strange new world briefly then, but quickly returns to the sea. The Lady of the Lake awaits him there - but that's really for the sequel! For now, it is just a briefing - not a full-on reunion of legendary sea figures - not just yet, no! The young Aquaman must learn of his place in the world: that of the in-betweener monarch, destined to maintain the ever-increasingly fragile balance of the ecosystems and the sovereignty of the sea - where all life began!
Once told of all that he must accomplish, AQ returns to Atlantis to reclaim his throne - alas, he is met with hatred and imprisoned but soon escapes, leading a rebellion in the process. He keeps his prisoner outfit as a symbol of his unique status - neither at home in Atlantis nor on the surface, which he has no intention to return to ever again. However, when Atlantis is menaced by the surface world's pollution of the seas, he does return there - as an avenger of the seas. He is quickly dubbed something catchy by the media who see his colorful attire and the "A" on his belt and think up the name AQUAMAN in no time at all...
AQUAMAN is officially born then - and, soon, he wins the world to his cause. The adulation provokes the ire of one erstwhile self-proclaimed seagod - Poseidon, who places a curse upon Aquaman "more terrifying that a thousand curses of Kordax could be". He then summons seademons from the depths of Marianna's Trench and dispatches them to destroy both Atlantis and their returned King - the second time he vows to destroy Atlantis, in truth...
Mera and several denizens of her dimension appear then - forewarning that these demons are indestructible and have tormented her people for years now, forcing them to scatter across dimensions; all of them are at Poseidon's command for he felt not properly worshiped in Mera's dimension too. She and her remnants of troops join forces with AQUAMAN in a pitched battle with the seademons who spill out onto the surface as well - preying upon the passengers found on many cruiser liners, pleasence boats and fishing ships that are passing by at the most unfortunate of times...
At the most desperate moment of this battle, the ghost of Atlan, AQUAMAN's father, also appears and advises his son on what he needs to do to vanquish such an uncommon foe. Atlan gives his son hope when he proclaims that "if Poseidon bewitches my son - so will I bewitch his! Use that knowledge; it will be key for your triumph on this day"
And so, a reinvigorated AQUAMAN takes the fight to Poseidon himself in the Mediterranean. A stalemate is reached when AQ has at his mercy Poseidon's own son, Triton - and agrees to use the water-hand's magicks to save Triton's life. In exchange, Poseidon, his legions and Triton are to depart this dimension, never to return. If he goes back on his word, the healing magicks will be undone automatically and Triton will die. Such magic tricks would not work, of course, if Poseidon, Triton and the whole lot of Olympian "deities" were not total utter frauds with unholy powers obtained through the craft and nothing else! Exposed and outwitted, Poseidon retreats.
Victory is achieved. Atlantis will thrive!
AQUAMAN kisses MERA, as the two have developed a bond throughout the ordeal and we are ready for a strong sequel... THE END!
I sincerely hope that Warner Bros does it -if they do it at all- this way... and not the ENTOURAGE way... or any other way! And, once again, I honestly do not think there's anyone who could do a better job developing this into a screenplay other than MYSELF...!
It's true... it's true...!