Jason Momoa Stands by DCEU’s ‘Aquaman,’ Tells Company to “Suck It”

in DC, Entertainment

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'

Credit: DC Studios

Jason Momoa is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming DC Studios collaboration, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), in which he plays the titular warrior-king. Although the comic book sequel, which has been met with a lot of noise, will mark his final outing as Arthur Curry, Momoa recently took to national television last night to stand by his beloved character and had some choice words for a particular beverage company.

Jason Momoa looking surprised as Aquaman in the water
Credit: DC Studios

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Director James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom can finally see the end of the tunnel after a nightmarish four-year-long production that suffered pandemic-related delays, extensive reshoots, and plenty of behind-the-scenes drama. Still, Warner Bros. seems to have the utmost confidence in the superhero flick, given that its predecessor, Aquaman (2018), grossed well over $1 billion at the box office.

With the holiday season promising a hectic and exciting time at the movies, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is projected to earn $500 million worldwide; half as much as 2018’s Aquaman, but still somewhat promising, considering the state of big-budget blockbusters and audiences’ growing sense of “superhero fatigue.” And with the movie serving as the last installment in the DCEU before James Gunn and Peter Safran’s “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters” takes over, it’s sure to garner at least some interest on a surface level.

Aquaman (Jason Momoa) laughing
Credit: DC Studios

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Momoa, who made his franchise debut in a cameo in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), will reprise his role for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, along with Temuera Morrison, who plays Arthur’s father, Tim Curry, Nicole Kidman, who plays his mother, Atlanna, Patrick Wilson, who plays Ocean Master, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who’s returning as supervillain Black Manta.

 

Check out the official trailer for Warner Bros. and DC Studios’ Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom below:

Out of everyone in its all-star cast, however, one name attached to the upcoming Aquaman sequel is sounding an alarm for some fans: Amber Heard, who plays Atlantean warrior and Arthur Curry’s love interest, Mera.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the highly-publicized legal battle between Herd and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, that resulted in a full-blown media firestorm in summer 2022. Depp, who had previously been accused of domestic abuse and harassment by his former wife, sued Heard for defamation, as her accusations all but ruined his career prospects, notably, Disney’s Pirates of The Caribbean 6.

Amber Heard as Mera (L) and Jason Momoa as Aquaman (R) in 'Aquaman'
Credit: DC Studios

Generally speaking, the internet unanimously sided with Depp, meaning many were overjoyed when the court ruled in the Jack Sparrow actor’s favor. He was awarded more than $10 million in damages, with the whole incident irreversibly harming Heard’s public image, reputation, and career in the process.

Since then, Heard has remained pretty much radio silent about her legal woes or any of her upcoming acting gigs. On the other hand, DC fans have been nothing but vocal about their desire to see her role get cut from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, with many calling for her firing in the fallout of her court case.

Mera (Amber Heard) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) stare at each other
Credit: DC Studios

While Heard’s role in the film wasn’t completely scrapped, per se, early viewers and multiple reports have confirmed that Mera’s screentime has been cut down to roughly ten minutes, despite her now being married to Arthur and raising a son together.

Based on internet chatter, it sounds like Mera has been pretty much sidelined in the sequel, which, despite Heard’s claims that her “parred down” role was an intentional act of sabotage, was always part of the plan “from the get-go” — according to Wan, at least. The filmmaker clarified that the first Aquaman movie explored Arthur and Mera’s journey, while the second was “always going to be Arthur and Orm,” adding, “The first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We’ll leave it at that.”

aquaman-2-arthur-and-orm
Credit: DC Studios

Leaked court documents also revealed some claims Heard made to a therapist, accusing Momoa of arriving “drunk” and “late on set,” even going as far as to harass his co-star by “dressing like” her ex-husband Depp, wearing “all the rings.” Shortly after, a spokesperson from DC denied the accusations, issuing a statement to People that read, “Jason Momoa conducted himself in a professional manner at all times on the set of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. We’re excited for audiences to see the film this December.”

More so — Heard drama aside — Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom also scored pitifully low during advance test screenings, causing Warner Bros. to greenlight a costly round of reshoots earlier this year in a last-ditch effort to save the film from certain doom. It’s impossible to say whether or not DC managed to scrape together a better version of the move in time for its premiere next month, but either way, it shows Warner Bros.’ commitment to making sure its “SnyderVerse” goes out with a bang.

aquaman-2-black-manta
Credit: DC Studios

Despite the nonstop noise that has surrounded the upcoming Aquaman entry since its conception, it seems like Momoa is still excited for audiences to see the film, taking the stage during last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live to promote his final collaboration with DC — as Arthur Curry, at least.

During his opening monologue, the second-time host touched on his role in the Aquaman franchise, sharing with the SNL audience why the part of Aquaman is so special to him and that he still “love[s] playing Aquaman” all these years later, regardless of the drama and scandal that might’ve taken place behind the scenes:

I love playing Aquaman because I love the ocean. It’s true. Growing up all I wanted to do was be a marine biologist, which makes sense because I’m built like a scientist. The problem was that even though I was born in Hawaii, I grew up in Iowa, which isn’t really known for its oceans.

jason momoa as aquaman
Credit: Warner Bros.

After sharing his interesting second-choice for a career had the whole acting thing not worked out, Momoa described his experience going back to Hawaii to “surf with [his] family,” which ultimately led to his unlikely breakout role on the syndicated action drama series, Baywatch: Hawaii:

Then one day, I was sitting at home watching a movie called In God’s Hands. Which was shot in Hawaii and I saw my cousin, Brian L. Keaulana, towing into these 50-ft waves and I was like, ‘What the hell am I still doing here?’ So I went back to Hawaii to surf with my family and I ended up on a TV show called, Baywatch.

Momoa added that Aquaman, a franchise that pays homeage to his love of the ocean, has made his life “come full circle,” before going on to promote his sustainable aluminum water bottle company, Mananalu, which, in his mind, at least, translates to “Suck it Dasani:”

I feel like my life has come full circle. I do a lot of work protecting our oceans and small island nations. I even started my own water company to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles. It’s called Mananalu which, in Hawaiian, stands for Suck It Dasani. This word really means a lot to me. I’m serious. We’re gonna save the whales, the coral reefs, and the SpongeBobs because Jason Momoa loves life. “

Check out Jason Momoa’s full Saturday Night Live monologue below:

Cheeky Dasani jab aside, it seems like Momoa will be exiting the DCEU on his own terms, which should come as a relief to those hoping for his franchise return in the not-so-distant future. While nothing’s been confirmed just yet, all signs point to him continuing his relationship with Warner Bros. after he sets down Aquaman’s trident for the last time in James Gunn’s new DCU as Lobo, an intergalactic bounty hunter.

So, while it might be sad to know that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will mark Momoa’s final outing as the green and orange-clad King of Atlantis, his recent appearance on SNL does seem proof enough that even if the movie is a disaster, at least he had a blast making it. Only time will tell if it will triumph at the holiday box office or sink under the weight of so much negative press.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom swims into theaters on December 22, 2023.

Are you looking forward to seeing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

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