This one has been a long time coming. Through all Jason Momoa’s recent successes—Game of Thrones, The Red Road, Road to Paloma—he’s been dogged by the question: Will he or won’t he play Aquaman in upcoming Justice League movies and perhaps even a solo film after those? Given the hunger for superhero-casting details, the Aquaman thing often overshadowed his other projects. In October, the rumors were finally confirmed; late Thursday night, director Zack Snyder Tweeted the first image of the Native Hawaiian as the classic superhero. His look is anything but classic—the blonde, caucasian, orange-clad Aquaman of the comic books has been scrapped for a more Poseidon-like look that includes armor, tattoos, and long shaggy locks.
The verdict: It’s good. It’s very good.
“Many of us were concerned about Aquaman’s transition from page to screen,” writes Krystal Clark at Blastr, “but judging by this photo, we have nothing to worry about.”
Jeff Labrecque of EW.com suggests, “Maybe we won’t be able to make fun of Aquaman anymore.”
Writing for Forbes, Scott Mendelson provided a bit more context. Recent cartoon versions of Aquaman, he says, have been much cooler than the Super Friends version people of a certain age grew up on; Momoa’s badass Aquaman fits right in with the trend. “Warner Bros. doesn’t need to convince kids of today that Aquaman is cool. Their animated properties over the last fifteen years did the job already.”
Momoa as Aquaman will make his debut in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, then will appear in two Justice League films, with a standalone Aquaman movie between, according to reports.