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Top 10 Things You Missed in Aquaman (2018)

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You will believe a man can talk to fish. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Missed in Aquaman. For this list, we’re taking a look at Easter eggs, cameos, and other details that likely eluded you in 2018’s “Aquaman.” Watch the video at WatchMojo.com
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Top 10 Things You Missed in Aquaman


You will believe a man can talk to fish. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Missed in Aquaman.

For this list, we’re taking a look at Easter eggs, cameos, and other details that likely eluded you in 2018’s “Aquaman.” Proceed with caution if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

#10: Similarities to the New 52 Aquaman


Aquaman has developed a reputation as one of DC’s goofier heroes, but writer Geoff Johns strived to make the character more complex with the New 52 relaunch in 2011. Johns also worked on the story for this 2018 film, which shares more than a few elements in common with his comic contributions. In both incarnations, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry is torn between the surface world and taking his rightful place as King of Atlantis. Receiving backup from Mera, Arthur faces several villains, including a race of underwater creatures called the Trench and Black Manta, who blames Aquaman for his father’s death. Arthur additionally clashes with his half-brother Orm, aka Ocean Master, for the Throne of Atlantis.

#9: Jason Momoa’s Real-Life Hero


Jason Momoa may play the titular hero, but he got to share the screen with his personal hero in this film. Arthur’s father, Thomas Curry, is played by Temuera Morrison, who you might recognize as Jango Fett, and by extention, the Clone Troopers in the “Star Wars” prequels. Momoa, meanwhile, best knew of Morrison through his performance in “Once Were Warriors,” which reportedly inspired him while playing Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones.” Momoa thus made a push for Morrison to play his father and “totally geeked out” upon meeting his idol. It’s no wonder why Momoa and Morrison share such a natural bond in “Aquaman,” immediately convincing the audience that they’re father and son.

#8: Atlanteans No Longer Talk in Bubbles


Amber Heard had an extended cameo as Mera in “Justice League” where she persuaded Arthur to join the fight against Steppenwolf. In order to communicate with him underwater, though, she engulfed them both inside a bubble. Director James Wan felt the filmmakers were “overthinking” the logistics of Atlantis, which is why no air bubbles are used to get dialogue across in “Aquaman.” Rather, people simply talk to each other while submerged in water as if they’re on the land. This was probably a wise creative choice, as it might’ve been distracting if the Atlanteans had to make a bubble every time somebody needed to get a word in, especially in the midst of battle.

#7: Djimon Hounsou as The Fisherman King


If you thought Djimon Hounsou was unrecognizable in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” try to spot him in “Aquaman!” Hounsou plays the Fisherman King, who’s reportedly brought to life through a mix of practical makeup effects and CGI. What makes this casting choice so interesting that is that it’s not Hounsou’s only role in the DC Extended Universe. He also plays the Wizard Shazam who grants his powers to Billy Batson in... “Shazam!” We can’t help but wonder if Hounsou will be restricted to playing two DC characters or if his presence will become a running gag for the DCEU, similar to John Ratzenberger in the Pixar Universe.

#6: Lovecraft Influences


Being his first superhero film, James Wan ventured into uncharted waters with “Aquaman,” although traces of his horror roots are still present. Shortly after Arthur’s parents meet, a copy of “The Dunwich Horror” by H. P. Lovecraft can be found underneath a snow globe. Wan actually described the inhabitants of the Trench as “fun sea creatures that Lovecraft would love.” You can also definitely see how a cosmic entity like Cthulhu might’ve inspired some of the film’s giant sea creatures. “The Dunwich Horror” notably revolves around two brothers, one of whom appears more mortal than the other. Sounds a bit like half-brothers Arthur and Orm, who share the same mother but come from different worlds.

#5: Oh Look, It’s Adam from “Saw”


Leigh Whannell not only played Adam Stanheight in the original “Saw,” but also co-wrote the screenplay with director James Wan. Whannell and Wan have since collaborated on several other projects, including the “Insidious” movies. Whannell makes a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in “Aquaman” as well, playing the pilot who gives Arthur and Mera a lift to the Sahara Desert. Whannell’s character is thrown for a loop when Mera jumps out of the cargo plane without a parachute and Arthur follows. Of course, these two Atlanteans both have superhuman strength to break the fall. Otherwise, it would’ve been game over.

#4: Enter Stephen Shin


Barely six months after appearing as Agent Jimmy Woo in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” actor Randall Park pops up as Dr. Stephen Shin in “Aquaman.” Created by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, this marine biologist is a friend of the Currys who teaches Arthur how to use his powers in the New 52 comics. When Arthur refuses to give up Atlantis’ location, though, Shin attempts to kill him. Shin’s role is radically condensed in this 2018 film, as he briefly appearing on a news program where he debates the existence of Aquaman. Shin does resurface upon rescuing Black Manta during a mid-credits scene, however, meaning we’ll likely see more of him in the future.

#3: Topo the Octopus


Given this movie’s edgier take on Aquaman, you’d think that the filmmakers would keep a more lighthearted character like Topo as far away as possible. Making his debut in a 1956 issue of “Adventure Comics,” this octopus was one of Aquaman’s most loyal animal companions. Over the years, the character evolved from a humanoid squid to a massive sea monster. The Topo in this film has more in common with his initial incarnation, however. Just as the original Topo could play multiple musical instruments at once, the octopus plays a set of drums during Arthur’s first gladiator match with Orm. His appearance may be short-lived, but it’s an awesome reference for die-hard DC fans nonetheless.

#2: Julie Andrews as Karathen


Weirdly enough, Julie Andrews turned down the opportunity to make a cameo in “Mary Poppins Returns,” but she does lend her voice to a character in “Aquaman,” which comes out the same week. Andrews voices a Kaiju-like sea creature known as Karathen, who wasn’t a prominent figure in any of the comics but plays a crucial part in Arthur’s journey to recover Atlanna’s Trident. Since she’s best known for playing loving, nurturing characters like Maria von Trapp, it’s hard to imagine Andrews as a monstrous Leviathan. Yet, she brings real gravitas to the role, coming off as elegant and intimidating. Even when given just a little screen time, Andrew is a larger-than-life presence.

#1: Annabelle


The DCEU isn’t the first cinematic universe James Wan has worked on. He also directed “The Conjuring,” which went on to inspire spinoffs like “The Nun” and “Annabelle.” Speaking of which, the demonic doll from the Conjuring Universe is hidden in a scene from “Aquaman.” After agreeing to aid Mera, Arthur boards her vessel under the sea. If you look closely during this sequence, you’ll find Annabelle sitting at the bottom of the ocean. If that wasn’t enough to bridge these two franchises together, Patrick Wilson plays the Ocean Master and Ed Warren. If Lex Luthor and Deathstroke are putting a Legion of Doom together, they should really fish Annabelle out of the water.
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