I have taken it upon myself to consider which talents amongst the gamut of leading actors across the globe might be most suited to play the role of Aquaman, in a Justice League of America movie. An activity that is perhaps not as safe and sound as one might think, considering recent global reaction to certain casting decisions for Man of Steel 2 and 50 Shades of Grey…
Still, I like to think that I’m approaching this task in a manner that would not estrange one Arthur Curry; deporting a sense of courage, a modicum of valour and my symbolic pen, in place of a magically powered trident.
Whilst Aquaman has become a revitalised character in the world of comic-books under the stewardship of Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Paul Pelletier, it has not been always thus. For many a decade, he has been a much derided character, with a profile that is certainly diminished in comparison to DC’s Trinity.
Outside of the world of comics, he’s enjoyed relatively successful animated television appearances: Super-Friends in the 1970’s, followed more recently, by the endearingly jovial adaptation in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. As for live-action, there are of course the guest appearances by Alan Richtson in Smallville and I guess I can’t ignore the much discussed, rarely seen and forsaken T.V. pilot, Mercy Reef, featuring Justin Hartley before he donned the green bow and quiver of Green Arrow.
Whatever Warner Bros. choose to do with their DC properties over the next few years, looking back over their corporate shoulders at Marvel Studios is inescapable. Whilst there are a myriad of components contributing to the success or failure of any film, it’s evident that when it comes to casting, Marvel Studios have done exceptionally well. They’ve approached and hired a gallery of actors of considerable quality and pedigree. This goes a long way to giving any super-heroic offering that essential credibility.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
5. Ryan Gosling
Now, that’s woken you up! I am not making this suggestion flippantly. I admire the character of Aquaman to the extent that I would like to see him portrayed and taken seriously. Who on this planet would dare to suggest that Ryan Gosling, the current uber-actor of the west would not have the faculties to fulfil this task with conviction and élan?
Consider his performances in Drive, Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides of March, and Gangster Squad. Gosling is currently due to undertake a role in an untitled Terence Malick project, which is somewhat a recognition of a man at the height of his powers.
One might feel a nagging sense of doubt when one considers factors beyond the actor’s direct control. I like to think however that such a casting choice would utterly insist upon the screenplay and the choice of director being of paramount quality.
4. Chris Pine
Of course there are plethoras of ways in which one could approach this character and I think Chris Pine opens doors that other actors might not walk through so easily.
His performances in films such as This Means War are serviceable, however it’s really all about Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. His portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk is not what one would want to see repeated here, but there are undoubtedly many aspects of those performances that could be a rich seam for application to this particular part.
Energy. Stubbornness. Perhaps, a dash of humour. I am keeping in mind that this individual needs to be unbowed by Superman and comfortable giving the Batman a piece of his mind. I can see Pine achieving these goals.