An Aquaman theory that has strongly gained steam is that there will be three primary villains in the upcoming film. Those villains include Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Abdul-Mateen as Black Manta, and Dolph Lundgren as King Nerus. It sounds good, but according to Aquaman director James Wan this is not the case.
James Wan flat out denied the theory in an interview with Entertainment Weekly saying:
This is what I’ll say: I don’t have three villains. I think that’s ridiculous! I would never go into an origin movie with three villains. We don’t even know the main character let alone the world and its antagonist. I believe in taking baby steps.
This is good news to me. The lack of world building in the DC Extended Universe has been one of the main complaints from critics and fans alike. We don’t really know the world these heroes inhabit. We’ve only gotten small glimpses in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, Justice League, and Suicide Squad. It’s unfortunate because as fans of these character we know each of them has a rich background and history to draw from. We want to start seeing that show up in the movies!
While Wan debunked the three villain rumors, he also clarified who would be the main protagonist for the film.
I want to introduce Arthur Curry in a much more emotional and powerful way, and introduce Mera played by Amber Heard, and of course there’s Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison playing his parents. We know Black Manta is in there, but I will say this: Patrick Wilson is the main antagonist in this film. I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘villain,’ but he’s the antagonist.
At the very least we know Ocean Master is the main antagonist. It’s likely we will see a power struggle for the throne. Based on what we saw in Justice League, Wilson’s Ocean Master might currently hold sway under the tides, but there might be trouble brewing in Atlantis and the royal family’s checkered past might haunt them leading many to back Jason Momoa’s Aquaman to take the throne.
It’s now more than likely that Black Manta will play a secondary role and could become the primary antagonist in a potential sequel. I could see him playing a role similar to Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange. He might actually be an ally to Aquaman, but finds himself at odds with him by the end of the film.
Jason Momoa previously revealed, “Justice League was only a weekend in Arthur Curry’s life. This is a totally different beast. In Aquaman, you see when his parents met and what happened to hem. Then the little boy being raised and finding his powers and going through that and never being accepted on either side. And then becoming this man who puts up all these walls. You just slowly see this man harden up and be completely reluctant wanting to be king and not knowing what to do with these powers he has. I think James Wan just killed it.”
What do you think? Does this clarify things for you? Is the three villain theory something you wanted to see play out on screen?
Aquaman comes to theaters on December 21, 2018.