Nerds have had a bad track record with criticizing casting in superhero movies. We tend to jump to judgment if the choice of actor isn't exactly what we expected. We got mad about Mark Ruffalo being the Hulk instead of Edward Norton, concerned the former wouldn't be able to be as intense, or brood as well as Norton's Banner. We got mad about Michael Keaton, who was at the time mostly known as a comedian in movies like Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice, taking on the Dark Knight. Most notably, we got mad about the-then unimpressive Heath Ledger taking over what was arguably the most interesting comic book role in history. We have been wrong many times before...but still whenever a decision is made that you think might really be a Mr. Freeze-sized mistake, you can't help but mention it. And I really don't understand this Aquaman casting.
To bring everyone up to speed, Jason Momoa was recently cast as Aquaman in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jason was most notably Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. He also played Conan the Barbarian in the 2011 reboot. He looks like this.
Now this rumor had been spreading for a while. When asked, even Jason himself said that he didn't know anything and questioned whether or not he would be the right actor for the part. Even Jimmy Kimmel, made some jokes about how the casting was strange and he did it while interviewing Momoa. (Jimmy is a brave man). But now many people are having that same thought. And before you write this off with "Oh he's just playing Aquaman. The real bad casting choices are Bat-fleck and Lex Zuckerberg," think about all of the other actors that have played those characters in recent blockbusters. We have had three Luthors (if you count Smallville) and five Batmen (if you count Adam West and The Lego Movie). We have never had a big-screen Aquaman. They have to get this right.
Now obviously if DC got their act together, they could cast Ryan Gosling tomorrow and he would be a perfect Aquaman. That still, however leaves one big question. What do you do with Jason Momoa? He already signed a contract. He has to play someone. Well rest assured. We have gotten a list together of yet-unaccounted-for DC characters that would be a far better fit for Jason today's Daily List.
6. Martian Manhunter
Let's start here, since this was one of the other rumors that was floating around concerning Momoa. In December of 2013, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Momoa had been cast in Batman vs. Superman. A source who spoke with THR gave them two possible characters he might play. One makes more sense in the context of this larger Justice League universe. The other would just be silly (we'll get to it) but would still probably work way better than Aquaman. The first character they suggested was the Martian Manhunter.
There are a couple of reasons I think this casting makes sense. The first is that Martian Manhunter almost always has no shirt on. Momoa is built like a tank. He wore as little shirts as possible during his GoT run, and the same held true in Conan. Aquaman is a character that, in every major costume except for one, wears some kind of orange shirt. Why cast someone with abs like that and cover them up?
What really sells me, though, on Momoa as Manhunter is the forehead. Manhunter doesn't have a ton of recognizable features besides green skin and red eyes but he does have a big forehead with a really defined eyebrow area. It protrudes. Momoa's forehead has the same protrusion. It's something you really don't see in a lot of actors. Granted it would be five dollars of simple prosthetics to achieve this look on anyone, but why waste that money?
This one is a no-brainer. Most people know Lobo as the rude bounty hunting dude who everyone loves. Even Stan Lee admitted that Lobo was his favorite DC character. Putting him in the movie may be a reach considering he isn't a member of the Justice League and they have enough classic characters to get to, but who knows? Maybe DC will get a wild hair up their ass and put in a character that the fans love and trust that the movie audience will love him too. And DC is in luck because they have the perfect actor to do it.
Jason Momoa could not be more prepared for this role. (Lobo is another character that usually doesn't wear a shirt). He has the same hairstyle as Momoa is known for and wore as Ronon Dex on Stargate: Atlantis. Heck, if Lobo didn't have that chalk white skin, I would assume Momoa could just roll out of bed and onto set. Lobo is also known for riding his motorcycle and is one of the few DC characters that does so. While Momoa isn't well known for riding a steel horse, his character Khal Drogo did ride a regular horse constantly. It would work.
Hawkman is an interesting character because, unlike Lobo, he has history on his side. Hawkman was a founder of the Justice Society of America, which predated the Justice League by twenty years. He was also a member of the Justice League in comics. He was one of the only characters who was introduced in the later seasons of Smallville that ended up looking and acting way better that we expected. Most importantly, his female counterpart Hawkgirl is familiar to viewers of the hit Justice League and Justice league Unlimited cartoons. And the character is incredibly easy to work into a story since there are so many versions of Hawkman that exist, but very few hardcore fans who would get mad if DC chose the wrong one. It could be an easy transition to make for the character.
Hawkman and Jason Momoa are basically the same guy. (Yep, they both don't wear shirts). Hawkman traditionally follows some sort of Egyptian mythology and Momoa, as the most recent Conan the Barbarian, wouldn't be out of place in that world. Hawkman prefers to fight with traditional weapons like swords, maces, and axes, and most folks know that Momoa has played characters that fight primarily with swords - but people forget that in Bullet to the Head he fought Sylvester Stallone with an axe, so he already has that covered too. He would just have to pick up fighting with a metal mace, and how hard could that be?