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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Variety Ad - 2006


I'm just now catching up on the third season of Entourage, where as any Aquaman fan knows, star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) is starring in the big-budget, James Cameron-directing Aquaman feature film.

Before I had seen them, I had heard comments about how Entourage, via this storyline, took a couple of shots at Aquaman the character, so I watched these DVDs a little skeptically. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the show really doesn't dump on the character at all; in fact, the Aquaman-ish-ness of the plot is so minimal Vicent Chase could be playing any superhero not yet transferred to the big screen. Hey, if only James Cameron wanted to make an Aquaman film!

Anyway, one of the fun, surrealistic touches in all this was the real-life, two-page spread that the show's producers bought in Variety, trumpeting "Aquaman"'s record-breaking three day gross. I can only imagine that if you don't watch Entourage, or know anything about it, this ad would lead you think there's actually an Aquaman film playing right now.

Some intrepid seller figured that maybe an Aquaman fan might want the ad, so they put it up for sale on ebay--and they were right.


All this faux-Aquaman-movie talk led me to revisit my ideas for what my casting choices would be for an Aquaman movie. And since no one demanded it, here's my dream Aquaman cast:


Aquaman/Arthur Curry: Liam Neeson. He's adept at playing heroes and villains, is very intelligent, and has a touch of regal bearing that I think would fit our hero perfectly. Yeah, he may not have the superhero-esque build for it, but he believably fought toe-to-toe with Christian Bale's Batman, so I figure he's got the chops.

Mera: Cate Blanchett. She has very similar qualities to Neeson--fierce intelligence and sophistication. Plus, she's astoundingly beautiful--the perfect queen to Neeson's king.

Black Manta: Jeffrey Wright. I've found that a lot of comic book movie villain parts are underwritten--they're either crazy psychos or scenery-chewing meglomanaics. I'd love to see Aquaman's arch-nemesis, Black Manta, brought to life partly because he's pretty much just a sociopathic thief--he wants what he wants, and he'll destroy the seas to get it. Wright manages to make every character he plays--big or small--seem to have so much more going on than the screenplay indicates. And like Neeson, he's played good guys and bad guys effectively.

Ocean Master/Orm: Kenneth Branagh. Another great actor, and someone who I picture as being related to Neeson's Aquaman. He's excelled at playing petulant attention-hogs, and who needily cries out for more attention than Aquaman's half-brother, Ocean Master?

Obviously, "my" Aquaman film would skew much older than typical Hollywood comic book adaptations, which tend to cast people barely in their mid-twenties as these iconic, experienced characters. I'd love to see an Aquaman film populated with actual adults; people who you'd believe have long histories with each other. I picture a sort of epic, old-style Hollywood film--like Richard Donner's Superman crossed with David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia.

I can dream, can't I?


Plaidstallions said...

This is kind of throw away but my friend spent much of 2005 putting makeup on Russel Crowe. They would banter back and forth when he didn't sleep (pretty common for actors to do that)

One day, they joked about doing Superhero movies and Crowe thought about it and said "I'd love to play Aquaman!"

Anonymous said...

I could see Crowe as Aquaman. I think Neeson is a bit too old now, but that's just me.

If we ever do get an Aquman movie. we'll probably get Owen Wilson as Arthur, Luke Wilson as Orm/Ocean Master, Chris Rock as Black Manta, and Lindsay Lohan as Mera. :-)


rob! said...

russell crowe would be a fine choice--i didnt even think of him.

yeah, Neeson's probably too old. but Crowe would work, since he's an actual ADULT.

Chris, your list of a more realistic cast is so frightening becuase its so on the money. *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Howdy, I like your choices, about 5 or ten years ago, that would have been an excellent cast, although I agree with some of the others, Neeson is a bit too old these days. I think he would have played an interesting Arthur.

I'm working on an aquaman mod for a game, putting together my own take on his story and his adventures, so I'm a little curious as to what you'd actually like to see, story-wise, with Aquaman.

rob! said...

i'd love to see a writer tap into the awesome POWER Aquaman possesses--being able to command every creature of the sea is an awesome amount of power. Aquaman could be taking on big, scale, world-threatening bad guys, not the relatively pissant villains he's given.

remember when Alan Moore figured out that Swamp Thing could pretty much control all vegetation? he took over Gotham City in is entirety, and it made Swampy seem so much more AWESOME.

i'd like to see that kind of scope applied to Aquaman.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, that's a very valid point. I was working on upgrading his villains, looking for something almost Darkseid scale. I think I've got something pretty good, but you're right, the power of the entire sea's life is something to think of.