Dune is kind of a lot if you’re not someone who is already familiar with Dune or likes space things, in general. I say this without judgment. It’s fine and maybe even good. But it is just, like, a lot, objectively, starting with the space drugs that let you see the future and power your spaceships and moving to the thing where there are massive space worms that live underground in the desert and can swallow spaceships whole. Again, a lot. And even more so if you’re not someone with a brain wired toward science fiction. But, thankfully, between and around and during all of that, there is also a dude named Duncan Idaho who is played by Jason Momoa and wrecks people with swords even though the movie takes place way in the future. That was helpful to me.
Or take Aquaman. Aquaman is a movie I’ve seen straight through twice and parts of many times, and also a movie I remember exactly two things about: One, at one point, for reasons that are never exactly clear and do not need to be, an octopus plays the drums; two, Jason Momoa looks cool as hell standing under a waterfall with a trident in his hand. I do not care very much about Aquaman, in general. I do not think I would have watched more than five minutes of any Aquaman movie if Aquaman had been played by, like, Jeremy Renner. But if I’m clicking around tonight and see Jason Momoa holding that trident, I mean… I might stick around. Again. At least until I see the octopus play the drums. Look at this guy.
What is the takeaway here? There are probably two, as far as I can tell. The first is that I am kind of an idiot, especially when it comes to space and/or science things. I know that. I can admit that. But it brings us to the second thing: if you are making a movie, any movie, really, but definitely one with a complicated backstory or history, you should just put Jason Momoa in the movie. Maybe give him a knife or a sword or, if you can make it work with your story, a trident. The movie will probably be better for it.
This is one of those things I feel like we all already knew on some deeper level below our consciousness, but it was driven home for me by this tweet.
jason momoa rules because most of his roles are just like “what if there was a dude who was fucking rad as hell” and you don’t really need range when you do that better than anyone
— massage gun kelly (@treswritesstuff) October 26, 2021
It’s true, from beginning to end. He plays rad dudes exclusively, and every movie can use another rad dude. There’s no one else out there doing this exact thing he’s doing, either. He’s carved out this cool little Rad Dude niche for himself, right on the line between Very Intense and Very Chill. It’s fascinating to me. Jason Momoa is kind of like a cross between “What if Keanu Reeves was freakin’ jacked?” and “What if The Rock took edibles?” and it all ends up working somehow. I am so happy for him, but I am also happy for the rest of us, too.
But let’s look at some examples. Let’s look at some of our bigger movie franchises and try to see if Jason Momoa would fit into them, just to see if this theory tracks.
The Fast & Furious Franchise — I think the biggest surprise here is that Jason Momoa has not already appeared in the Fast & Furious franchise. I would tell you to close your eyes and picture it but you can do this one with your peepers open wide. I’m picturing him in a dark office behind a large wooden desk, his fingers pressed together into a little tent, explaining to Dominic Toretto that he had to hold the world’s entire NoS supply hostage for Reasons related to How Things Really Are, followed by an extended scene where they have a sword fight in a hurricane, followed much later — possibly in the next film — by them grilling burgers together at a barbecue and referring to each other as “brother.”
The John Wick Franchise — Jason Momoa as a legendary assassin who works for the High Table and is sent to kill John Wick once and for all, but they realize they are Not So Different After All and decide to team up and in the final scene both of them heave tridents like javelins directly into the hearts of two evil High Table members both played by, oh, let’s say Tilda Swinton. I would sacrifice three months off the end of my life to see this movie.
The Paddington Franchise — Here’s what I’ve got so far: Paddington is in trouble, again, but this time it’s because he’s accidentally crossed an ancient organization that is sending squadrons of goons after him and his only hope is one renegade named like Tex Montecarlo (Jason Momoa) who goes everywhere with two swords crisscrossed across his back and kind of a lot of eye makeup on, which is a detail I add mostly so I can remind you that Key & Peele once referred to Momoa’s character on Game of Thrones, warlord Khal Drogo, as “Big Dave Navarro.”
The Magic Mike Franchise — Jason Momoa and Joe Manganiello doing a choreographed performance while wearing fur and holding real axes for some reason, all set to “Warrior” by Pat Benatar, and done at a secret meeting of crooked female billionaires — led by… let’s just go with Tilda Swinton again — that Channing Tatum is stealing jewels from while those two distract the women with hip thrusts, because let’s just go ahead and make these heist movies now.
(There’s an added bonus here to putting Jason Momoa in the movies, beyond just having Jason Momoa do cool Momoa things on the screen. Any time Jason Momoa is in a movie, it gives you — okay, me — another excuse to remind people that he’s married to Lisa Bonet, who used to be married to Lenny Kravitz, whose mom was Roxie Roker from The Jeffersons, whose cousin is television meteorologist Al Roker, which means Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker are actually second cousins. This might be my favorite fact ever. I like having excuses to bring it up. A reasonable argument can be made that it is the main reason I wrote this article.)
Do you see? Do you see what I mean? All of those movies would be incredible. I could have kept going, too, easily. In fact, I will. Jason Momoa in Mission: Impossible as a fellow spy who frees Tom Cruise from a jungle prison by whipping most of a tree at someone. Jason Momoa in Jurassic Park fighting a triceratops with his bare hands. Jason Momoa in a Harry Potter movie as a cool teacher at Hogwarts named Professor Smirkus Biceps who rides a flying motorcycle around town. Every one of these characters is basically the same person and they would instantly become my favorite character in each franchise. I repeat: Just put Jason Momoa in the movie.
It doesn’t even need to be a franchise. It could be a one-off based loosely on current events (Jason Momoa playing a former Green Beret turned first-term senator who must defend Congress against an insurrection), or a 90s-style submarine movie (Jason Momoa carrying around torpedoes all casually, one in each hand like they’re Thermoses), or even an indie romance movie (Jason Momoa playing a bad boy with a heart of gold who seduces a widowed English professor and shows her that there’s still excitement and fun left in the world and she’s played by, you guessed it, Tilda Swinton). Listen to me: Put Jason Momoa in the movie.
Put Jason Momoa in the movie.
Do not think too hard about this.
It’s so simple.
Write the movie.
Put a character in the movie who is a rad dude who has a knife or a sword or a trident or a motorcycle.
Call Jason Momoa.
Ask him to be in the movie.
And then put Jason Momoa in the movie.