Entertainment Weekly’s finally brought the Aquaman movie insider info we’ve all been waiting for, including a bunch of shiny new set pictures. Since many of the characters and places shown in the photos aren’t exactly well known in pop culture outside of Aquaman’s immediate fanbase, we have all the basic info you need to know to get hyped right here!
Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is the Queen of Atlantis and mother of Orm and Aquaman. In what is most likely a prologue or flashback scene, one picture shows Atlanna cradling the infant hero in her arms above water, most likely preparing to give him up for good to his human father in order to protect him from her own people. Compared to the xenophobic and would-be warlord Orm Atlanna strictly maintains a policy of peace and non-interference with the surface. Atlanna also seems to have had a close relationship with the Xebel princess Mera, who mentioned in Justice League she had been protected by the queen when she was a child during ‘the wars.’
Atlantean Prince Orm (Patrick Wilson) is Aquaman’s half-brother. Scorning his mother’s desire for peace and seeing his brother as evidence of the tainting nature of the surface world, he wants nothing more than to subjugate humanity and rule all Seven Kingdoms of the sea with an iron fist.
Though Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) isn’t Atlantean he is unquestionably one of Aquaman’s oldest and most iconic enemies; even Orm pales in comparison. The treasure hunting mercenary and the hero have deeply hated one another ever since they were young men when they were each responsible for the death of the other’s father. Though Orm is clearly positioned to be the most obvious villain of the film, it would be highly surprising if Manta didn’t turn out to be a much bigger player in the end and perhaps even be set up as the big bad for a sequel.
Atlantis vs. Xebel
One stunning shot shows a standoff between the armies of Atlantis and King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) of the rebel kingdom of Xebel. In the comics, Xebel was a former penal colony trapped behind a dimensional barrier within the Bermuda Triangle. The descendants of the original prisoners were desperate for freedom, and their king Nereus trained his daughter Mera to be a master assassin and warrior from childhood so she could escape and kill the current ruler.
Xebel’s situation seems to have been altered for the premise of the movie, perhaps simply being one of the Seven Kingdoms. The two mighty armies also indicate that the struggle between Xebel and Atlantis will be on a larger scale than ever before.
Aquaman is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious). It premieres December 21, 2018, and stars Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Tenua Morrison, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Amber Heard.