If you’re disappointed that Aquaman and some of his Justice League partners didn’t get as much screen time as you’d hoped, Jason Momoa has a somewhat reassuring explanation for that: The movie just covered so much ground, giving us a briefer glimpse of characters who are likely to get their full due — like Momoa’s own Aquaman — farther down the line.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Momoa — who admits he’s a total fan of the way Justice League turned out — said his character, along with Cyborg and the Flash, had way more scripted content than a single movie’s run time could allot to each.
“We had it all planned out. A lot of things got cut,” he said. “But it’s not my movie. It’s a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and the Flash and Cyborg, there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in.”
How much material got cut? Momoa doesn’t specifically say it, but juggling an abundance of character lore easily could have turned the movie into a multi-installment project instead of a standalone feature.
“It could have been two movies,” he said. “We had some stuff with Willem Dafoe. The whole Atlantean part, about me being this reluctant king. There was no need for it because you’re going to see it in Aquaman. It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie.”
Whoa, hold up — Willem Dafoe? Yes — you may recall Dafoe was cast for Justice League to play the role of Nuidis Vulko, the seemingly omnipresent Antlantean scientist. But his material ultimately was cut from the film, leaving fans to anticipate Dafoe’s take on the role when Aquaman hits theaters late next year.
Momoa had only good things to say about how Snyder established the characters’ look and feel before passing the reins to director Joss Whedon. "[I]f people love what we did with Aquaman, it’s all [Snyder] — it’s his brainchild,” he told EW. “He came in with ‘I’m going to make Aquaman a badass and I’m going to change stuff, and change the myths about this guy.’ And I busted my ass.”
He's not done busting it, either: We've still got a ways to go before Aquaman releases to theaters on December 18 of next year.