Photo Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures
Aquaman just moved its release date back by over two months, giving it extra time to fill out its supporting cast. It has started out by bringing Patrick Wilson back into the DC movie universe, as the Watchmen star will take on the more villainous role of the Ocean Master.
Director James Wan provided the announcement on Twitter.
In casting news that no one saw coming from 20,000 nautical miles away, I ordain @patrickwilson73 the Ocean Master. #KingOrm #Aquaman— James Wan (@creepypuppet) December 13, 2016
In the comics, the Ocean Master was also known as Orm and as Aquaman's half-brother. Unlike Aquaman, however, Orm had no superpowers, so he used a super suit to go underwater and try to take his half-brother's kingdom. Still, bringing this conflict to the big screen comes years after Thor and Loki cornered the market on warring half-brothers in superhero movies.
It had been easy to assume that Blank Manta would be Aquaman's first solo villain, but this appears to invalidate that theory. Yet Wan had no comment on whether the Ocean Master is the main villain or whether there are any other important ones, although casting him first appears to be a strong enough signal.
Wan cast Wilson despite how he hardly looks like a brother or a physical match for Jason Momoa's Aquaman, yet that is likely the whole point. Otherwise, this is both familiar and unfamilar territory for Wilson, as he will work with Wan for the fifth time and work in the Superhero Genre for the second time.
Nonetheless, Wilson and Wan's past work together has been in the horror genre, through the first two Insidious movies and the two Conjuring films. And while Wilson played the closest thing to an actual hero in Watchmen for DCEU godfather Zack Snyder, this represents a darker return.
Wilson is also the third Watchmen actor to join the DCEU, after Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cameo and after Billy Crudup got cast as The Flash's father. But unless The Flash finds a director who can get it ready for some kind of 2018 release, Wilson's comeback in the superhero genre may go before Crudup's.
Momoa, Amber Heard and Willem Dafoe will first launch their DCEU tenures in Justice League on Nov. 17, 2017, before Wilson takes on Aquaman, Queen Mera, Vulko and all of Atlantis on Oct. 5, 2018.