According to a new interview, Dolph Lundgren’s character in Aquaman will undergo one major change from his comic book counterpart. The King of Atlantis’ solo movie will debut amongst a crowded field of box office challengers when it releases in December. And because it will be the first DCEU film since the critical and commercial disappointment that was Justice League, it actually has a lot riding on its shoulders. The inevitable roadblocks of filming a live-action movie in which the characters live underwater only adds to the pressure the film is facing.
But if Aquaman should falter, it likely won’t do so because of a lack of onscreen talent. Director James Wan has assembled a star-studded cast to support the film’s leads, Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, including big names like Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson. The latter is set to play Ocean Master, who will serve as one of the lead villains alongside Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta. Wan has confirmed that Aquaman won’t be facing a third antagonist in his inaugural solo adventure, though it’s unlikely that Dolph Lundgren’s King Nereus will be our hero’s biggest fan — regardless if the character is adapted faithfully from the comics.
In the comics, King Nereus was “intended” to Queen Mera back when the latter was living in her home colony on Xebel. Before they were married, Mera was actually sent out to assassinate Aquaman, though she ended up falling in love with him instead. But in a recent sitdown with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Lundgren confirmed that Nereus and Mera’s relationship will be dramatically different on the big screen. Rather than being betrothed to one another, Nereus will actually be Mera’s father in the DCEU. Check out the quote for yourself below.
It is good to be king. Basically, I try to keep the peace down there along with Amber Heard, who plays my daughter. She’s trying to convince me to join the right side. Then you have Nicole Kidman as Aquaman’s mother. We’re trying to avoid war between the surface dwells and the people of Atlantis.
Back in April, we speculated that James Wan had this exact character rewrite in mind when Lundgren was first cast as King Nereus. The nearly 30 year age difference between Lundgren and Heard makes a whole lot more sense now, though the backstory change will likely upset quite a few fanboys and girls who hate to see tweaks like these being made for big screen adaptations.
The change also makes sense for the story, as setting up a love triangle between Aquaman, Mera, and a third party while Ocean Master and Black Manta are trying to ignite a war between Atlantis and the surface world just seems a bit ambitious for one solo movie. But just because Nereus isn’t Aquaman’s romantic rival doesn’t mean that the two will be best pals, either. Judging from Lundgren’s quote, these in-laws will have to get on the same page if an all-out war is to be avoided.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018