Today’s Aquaman Comic-Con panel wowed audiences with their first look at the film in the form of a trailer which you can see here. But for everyone in Hall H, we were also treated to a second, extended trailer/clip that showed a tons more of what we can expect with the film.
The footage begins with the origin of Aquaman himself, as we get the story of how his Queen mother met his lighthouse keeper father and the two made a Metallica shirt of a superhero together. We hear Nicole Kidman tell Aquaman “You are a part of something deeper. You are the bridge between land and the sea. Take your rightful place as king.”
Things slow down a bit after this as we find Aquaman and Amber Heard’s Mera trekking across a desert and exploring some very Indiana Jones ruins, which Aquaman of course describes as “badass”.
There is some kind of panel Mera has a key to unlock. But it isn’t working. She realizes they’re in the desert and the key needs moisture to function, so she magically takes beads of sweat from Aquaman’s brow and puts it on the key, which does the trick. Aquaman accuses her of being a showoff and proclaims: “I coulda just peed on it.”
The panel reveals a hologram of an Atlantean king who tells the duo all about the importance of the trident he wields, which offers “the power of Atlantis.” At this point, we cross-cut to a lot to Patrick Wilson and his nefarious business underwater, including some sort of meeting with Dolph Lundgren’s character, though we don’t get to hear him speak.
Now the really good part: we cut back to Aquaman and Mera in a different, more populated location as they are chased across rooftops by Black Manta and his goons. Mantis looks comic book accurate, and like everything in this movie, has an air of goofiness about him that I really like as he’s shooting big-ass lasers out of his eyes and all that. The action here, which is way less based on CG than the underwater stuff, looks quite good with nice geography and wide camera shots.
This gives way to more trailer-style editing of many cool but out of context things. We see Nicole Kidman beating the shit out of goons. We get a nice shot of Willem Dafoe’s character riding (I believe) a seahorse.
The kicker comes with Aquaman claiming “I’m not a king” and being answered with “Atlanta has always had a king. Now it needs something more.” This is all set up to the big reveal of Aquaman in his classic yellow-scale shirt. The audience went nuts.
I wasn’t super into the released trailer overall, but you have to admit it’s fun to have a superhero movie that looks so big and wacky. All that underwater stuff, particularly when it shows us multitudes of creatures, is impressive even if it is an overabundance of CG. The characters look okay conversing underwater and I didn’t expect to get all this stuff with Aquaman as a kid, getting bullied by jerks and then backed up by a bunch of damn sharks.
This Hall H exclusive footage looked much better, however, if only for letting scenes breathe and play out more. It also made clear that much of this story will involve Aquaman’s journey (led by Mera) back to Atlantis to challenge Patrick Wilson’s claim to the throne. Black Manta appears to be dogging him on his journey. It also seems pretty clear that once Aquaman arrives, he and Patrick Wilson’s Thomas Curry are going to have a big trident vs trident arena fight in front of a large audience.
James Wan is definitely going for something big and unique with Aquaman. During the panel discussion he described the film as more sci-fi and fantasy than typical superheroics. I saw nothing that went against that. I also can’t deny how cool it is to see this Aquaman in that yellow shirt.