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'You Brought Me the Ocean': Charlize Theron producing Aqualad origin series for HBO Max

The list of HBO Max stories based on DC Comics just got a little bit longer.

By Matthew Jackson
Charlize Theron

The list of HBO Max projects based on DC Comics stories is growing once again. Variety reports that Oscar winner Charlize Theron is set to produce an adaptation of the DC graphic novel You Brought Me The Ocean for the streaming service, giving DC hero Aqualad a chance to shine as a solo character through an acclaimed romantic origin story. 

Written by Alex Sanchez with art by Julie Maroh, You Brought Me the Ocean follows Jake Hyde, a teenager living in New Mexico who doesn't swim, but finds himself drawn to the water thanks to strange blue marks on his skin that glow whenever water is near. Those markings, and an attraction to the local swim team captain, will change Jake's life forever, as he grows closer to the water he once tried to avoid, and closer to realizing his destiny. 

The graphic novel was released in the summer of 2020, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding comic the following year. Now, Theron, alongside producing partners A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, and Andrew Haas are bringing it to life as an HBO Max series. 

You Brought Me The Ocean Cover by Alex Sanchez, illustrated by Julie March.

There's no word yet on who will write and direct the show, or who might play Jake Hyde or Jake's romantic partner, Kenny Liu. Still, it's an exciting development amid an ever-growing slate of DC Comics properties over at HBO Max. In addition to current shows like TitansHarley QuinnDoom Patrol, and Peacemaker, the streamer is already at work developing a new Batman-inspired series called Gotham Knights, a Green Lantern Corps show, and a spinoff of The Batman centered on Colin Farrell's portrayal of The Penguin. Then, of course, there's that Batgirl movie coming soon, starring Leslie Grace as the title character. 

With You Brought Me The Ocean, HBO Max has yet another opportunity for DC expansion while also enjoying the chance to tell a different kind of story. In the mainstream DC continuity, Jackson "Jake" Hyde is eventually revealed to be the son of the supervillain Black Manta, and join's Aquaman in battling evil as a new incarnation of the hero known as Aqualad. Fans will know the character not just from his comics appearances, but from the animated series Young Justice, which gives him plenty of built-in appeal, but You Brought Me The Ocean is not another superhero story. It's a scaled down romantic dramedy about discovering who you really are, and perhaps who you were always meant to be. So while there's plenty of superhero potential beyond the original premise of the series, this one gets to start from a place that no other current DC show does, and that's exciting. 

You Brought Me The Ocean does not yet have a projected release date.