Reaching this point, for no one is a secret that DC history has come a long way with movies, not a very good one.
Its comic books are another story, considering how popular they are among geeks, fans, and just people who want to enjoy an excellent superhero-villain storyline.
However, films made based on these characters have gone downhill for a while, with some exceptions that are the complete opposite: popular and prominent among people.
Aquaman is a film that qualifies for the latter, considering its box office and reception by the people. This is why we decided to dedicate it to an article in order to know what made this movie different from DC’s previous ones, excluding the fantastic “Dark Knight Trilogy” with Christian Bale as Batman, of course.
Inspiration & Production: How Did Aquaman Come to Life?
Since Aquaman is originally a famous character from one of the American comic books companies, DC Comics, it is expected for us to go over the story from there.
This fictional superhero first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 back in 1941, and it was meant to be a backup character.
However, it was later introduced in several volumes of a solo comic book series, making him one of DC’s main characters.
Aquaman is introduced as the king of Atlantis and was a founding member of the Justice League.
The geniuses behind this character were Mort Weisinger as the writer and Paul Norris as the artist behind the drawing.
From the adventures of our superhero, we then move on with the main topic: the film Aquaman from 2018.
It is meaningless to say the obvious, but the movie was inspired by the comic books of the character with the same name.
The plot, however, does change from some of the original comics and always follows specific standards based on the writers and producers of the film despite their claims to keep it as authentic as possible.
In this case, James Wan took the role as a director while David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall were involved in the screenplay.
The story for the movie was created and written by Geoff Johns, James Wan, and Will Beall.
The production was in charge of Peter Safran and Rob Cowan. In contrast, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Films, Cruel and Unusual Films, The Safran Company, Mad Ghost Productions, and RatPac Entertainment were all involved.
However, the distribution is only attributed to Warner Bros. Pictures.
What Plot Does Aquaman Follow?
A few moments ago, we mentioned that Aquaman is based on comic books, but its story differs in many aspects from them.
This is why you will find the plot quite different from the usual comics you can read and instead, follows this:
The city of Atlantis was once home to the most advanced civilization in the world. Now, it is an underwater kingdom under the control of the power-hungry King Orm.
Orm has a large army at his disposal and plans to conquer all remaining oceanic people as well as the entire surface world.
Aquaman, Orm’s half-human, part-Atlantean older brother and the true heir of the throne, stands in his path despite being uninterested in the beginning.
Our protagonist, with the help of Vulko, the royal counselor, must recover the legendary Trident from Atlan and accept his destiny as protector of the seas and the depths.
To make this film possible, DC Entertainment, along with Warner Bros. Pictures and the entire production, brought in a crew with some famous celebrities like:
- Jason Momoa as Aquaman/Arthur Curry.
- Amber Heard as Mera.
- Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko.
- Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius/Ocean Master.
- Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.
Did It Meet Expectations?
If we focus on the reviews the movie had, those were quite mixed when Aquaman was released.
Some called it one of the best DC movies for the DC Extended Universe, while others considered it lacking and quite dull.
Everything is a matter of perspective, and if you ask our opinion, the movie wasn’t boring nor bad, but it wasn’t the best.
After the “Dark Knight Trilogy” made the pedestal relatively high to reach, it was evident that people really expect new movies to be as good if not better.
Now, this trilogy isn’t part of DC’s main universe and their general project, which is why it is also hard to compare with a film that follows another final goal than just being an independent movie overall.
That being said, by the end, Aquaman has mostly good reviews and critics.
As for box office and expectations about its earnings, well, it surpassed them by far.
The film grossed $335.1 million in the USA and Canada and grossing $812.6 million in other regions and countries. This leaves the movie with a total grossing of $1.148 million.
This milestone allowed the movie to be the highest-grossing installment in the DC Expanded Universe and the highest one for a DC character from the comic books.
Aquaman had a $160-200 million budget. When this is considered, and other expenses are included, DC was left with a revenue of about $260 million.
Earnings & Salaries: Actors’ Profits
With such budget and earnings after release, you usually expect actors and actresses to be appropriately paid. You’re right.
In Aquaman, Jason Momoa reportedly made $15 million for the film, but there aren’t details about an additional fee based on the movie’s success.
Meanwhile, Amber Heard was paid about $5 million, but this isn’t accurate since she could have made more and there aren’t details disclosed.
There aren’t specific reports of the other members of the crew and their salaries.
However, it is assumed that they didn’t get paid less than $250k for the film. Of course, everything depends on the role and screentime.
Now, Aquaman 2 or more like “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is coming next year, 2022, and we couldn’t be more excited about this.
For this next film, everyone got an increase in their salaries. Some even had it doubled due to the first movie’s success.
4 Interesting Facts About the Movie
- Before having his own movie, Aquaman appeared in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” and the “Justice League.”
- Nicole Kidman decided to participate in the film due to James Wan’s reputation and her appreciation of him.
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II finds his character, Black Manta, hilarious.
- For the underwater scenes, actors are dry, and wires are used to make them seem like they’re floating.
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