Aquaman is not only one of two movies (out of six) in the DC Extended Universe with a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s also made the most money. The James Wan-directed film has cleared the $1 billion barrier at the box office, thanks largely to women over the age of 25 (the power of Momoa is real), and when it soon passes The Dark Knight Rises‘ cumulative gross, “it’ll be the biggest solo superhero movie ever, save for Iron Man 3 and Black Panther.”
Aquaman‘s success is due largely to the cast (especially Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Sea-Queen Nicole Kidman, and Patrick Wilson, doing his best Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending impression), director James Wan, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall’s screenplay, and, surprisingly, Zack Snyder.
Actor Neil Daly, who oversaw the test screenings for both Justice League and Aquaman, claims that the Man of Steel director worked with Wan to shift the character of Arthur Curry away from how Joss Whedon wrote him in Justice League. “We could have gotten a whole movie about Aquaman basically fawning over Mera the whole time and making all kinds of dirty jokes and things like that and they really had to get away from that, which is all what Whedon had done, so Snyder had a little bit of an influence on Aquaman,” he said on the Fire and Water podcast. “Wan was showing Zack Snyder, against the studio’s wishes, cuts of the movie and early test screenings and storyboards to make sure that they’re on the same page with what he originally wanted and Snyder gave his blessing of approval, bringing it back to what he wanted all along.”
We’ve heard a lot about the Snyder cut, but I need the Whedon cut of Aquaman. Inquiring minds need to know how it compares to his Wonder Woman script. Anyway, good on Snyder, who’s usually all doom and gloom and doomy, gloomy men in costumes yelling Martha, for helping course-correct Aquaman and make it one of the most enjoyable (and weird — never forget the octopus drummer) superhero movies in recent memory.