Although I don’t necessarily consider it a race, it is hard to not view Warner Brothers as lagging far behind Marvel Studios in getting their respective comic book properties onto the big screen. In the past five-and-a-half years Marvel has managed to launch an interconnected series of superhero franchise films that have started spreading out to television and soon, streaming content as well. Warners, mining the characters of corporate sibling DC Entertainment, has had only isolated success with the wrapping up of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the conclusion of a healthy run of a Superman television series and a series of direct to video animated projects. In the last year or so, the company looks to be finally gearing up to deliver something similar to Marvel’s cross-franchise universe on television with Arrow and the upcoming Flash series.
But it is Warners’ plans for feature film superheroics that fans are most interested in. This past summer the studio caused a furor when they announced that Batman would be showing up in the 2015 sequel to Man Of Steel. For fans it meant the first solid step towards an interconnected cinematic superhero world featuring the DC characters.
As part of fleshing out that world, Warners has been busy working at developing films featuring other characters from DC’s stable, most notably Wonder Woman, which had been in feature development for about a decade now, and, again, the Flash. Now comes word that another of DC’s high-profile heroes is being worked on – Aquaman.
It is DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns who brings us the news in an interview with Variety, who states that Aquaman is “a priority character for the company.”
The rest of the interview with Johns discusses his work in helping define the character a little bit stronger than he has been seen generally through his work as writer on the Aquaman comic for the last two years. But will Johns’ work in strengthening the relationship between Aquaman and his wife Mera as well as deepening the characters’ backstory and villains serve as a good basis for a screenwriter? I don’t see how having more source material to draw from couldn’t hurt. Previously there was an attempt to bring the character to television in 2006 by the WB network, though it was scuttled when they merged with UPN to form the CW network.
Whether Aquaman gets his own film or not will probably depend on how well the character is received if he were to make an appearance in Warners’ planned Justice League film. From all indications, it looks as if the studio is hoping that 2015′s Batman Vs Superman will lead into a Justice League film and then spinoff films will follow, featuring whichever characters get the biggest fan reaction. I wouldn’t expect to see a solo Aquaman feature before 2018 at the earliest.