With the emergence of a rumoured schedule from Warners for their Justice League franchise, there was
something more concerning announced recently worthy of comment. Jason Momoa, familiar as either Khal Drogo from 'Game of Thrones', or Conan in the ill-advised rehash of the Barbarian movies has
been cast as Aquaman. Firstly there is the question of his acting ability.
With Khal Drogo he had little to do apart from look fierce, kill the occasional person, dry hump Emilia Clarke and phonetically learn a different language. Conan demanded little more apart from physical training to bulk up and some additional sword and sandal workouts. However at least Momoa had some phyiscal resemblance to Drogo and Conan, whereas Aquaman is tall, blonde pale as the driven snow and looks like something out of a 'Flash Gordon' comic strip. Now I am not saying Momoa is not suited, but that historically only Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves managed to play characters their complete physical opposites and remain unscathed. However aside from how appropriate or not Momoa is for the role there are other questions to ask.
For one is Aquaman a wise addition to an already overcrowded rosta for 'Justice League' warm up 'Batman vs Superman'? With former Miss Israel Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, chiselled Henry Cavill playing Superman alongside Ben Affleck's Batman, it seems unlikely Momoa will get much screen time. Then there is the question of what Aquaman will actually do.
According to Wikipedia he is able to manipulate sealife, talk any language on earth and possesses the usual advanced physical attributes of speed, agility, strength and so on attributed to most super heroes. However with the increased popularity of 'The Big Bang Theory' public awareness of Aquaman and his status within comic book circles has become more apparent. Even though he is a founding member of 'The Justice League' Aquaman is perceived to be the runt of the litter. Alongside 'Green Lantern', 'The Flash' and 'Wonder Woman' Aquaman is consistently relegated to the role of poor cousin.
I think my biggest fear however is that 'Batman v Superman' turns into another 'Spiderman 3', full of under developed characters, narrative holes a plenty and actors coasting for a pay cheque. With this ever expanding list of characters this seems more and more likely. It is this writer's opinion that sooner or later the superhero bubble will burst and studios will be left nursing their financial wounds. With seven films planned at the rate of one a year, Warners seems to be making hay while the sun shines. perhaps rightly so.
A few years ago now Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis sat around a conference table. In their transcribed conversation for 'Empire' magazine they warned that cinema was slowly dying a death. This highly experienced 'brain trust' argued that production costs were now too high, ticket prices were similarly extreme as a result and that something would give. Joss Whedon's 'Avengers Assemble' cost closer to two hundred million than one fifty and did a billion dollars in box office. Needless to say the forthcoming 'Avatar' sequels and 'Justice League' movies will have similar budgets. With the increased quality of independent television networks and streaming services, you would be wise to ask yourselves a question. Aside from casting choices, budgetary concerns and the never ending search for original ideas, surely the most pressing is how much longer does cinema have left before movie houses as we know them are obsolete.