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DC Comics news: Jason Momoa as Aquaman, film plans and shareholder fears

Can one go from Conan to Aquaman?
Comic Book

Momoa goes from "Conan" to Aquaman!

Hollywood gossip site HitFix has scored quite a tidbit; that the role of another member of the Justice League has been cast for "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" in 2016. That role is of Arthur Curry/Aquaman, and the mentioned actor is Jason Momoa, star of "Game of Thrones" as well as the latest film version of "Conan the Barbarian". Furthermore, the site notes that the controversial ending of "Man of Steel" helps lead to the plot of it's loosely defined sequel as various heroes (and villains) come out of the woodwork to react to Superman's planet busting battle against General Zod. To be specific, the fate of the Indian Ocean may be what has Aquaman so riled.

The hero of 75% of the earth's surface has long been the butt of jokes ever since the debut of the 1970's cartoon series "Superfriends". However, DC Entertainment in general and Geoff Johns in particular have been working for years to rehabilitate his image ever since - in no small way by being inspired by the "bad ass" mannerisms of Marvel Comics' original sea hero, Namor the Sub-Mariner. Casting a man such as Momoa would not only give Aquaman a huge physical presence, but also would avoid having a hero who technically patrols most of the world's surface being yet another blond haired, blue eyed Caucasian man. Created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris in 1941's issue of "More Fun Comics #73", Aquaman has gone on to become a mainstay of the DC Universe, even if not its' best seller. The recent "New 52" reboot of his comic, as written by Johns, however, was one of the success stories of the line up.

If true, Momoa would be joining a cast which has already stretched far and wide into a prequel of "Justice League". This would include Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and returning stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Laurence Fishbourne (Perry White). Momoa has long been rumored to be attached to the project in some capacity, giving this "rumor" more weight than usual.

Is DC Entertainment planning a seven film slate?

Nikki, a website created by a former writer from the Hollywood rumor site Deadline, has kicked off their launch with a bang. Specifically, a supposed scoop ahead of this summer's San Diego Comic Con listing seven films that Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment wish to produce. It lists films which have already been announced or are officially in the running with some unique choices.

Supposedly, 2016 would see "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" in May, followed by the long gestating "Shazam" film in July as well as a "Sandman" film by December. 2017 would apparently repeat the schedule of releasing three films a year in May, July, and December - only this time it would be "Justice League", "Wonder Woman" and a "Flash and Green Lantern team up". Finally, May 2018 is seen as a possible date for "Man of Steel 2". Nikki also claims that films for "Metal Men" and "Suicide Squad" apparently "fell off the schedule" and that Ryan Reynolds would not be asked to reprise his rile as Hal Jordan from 2011's disaster, "Green Lantern".

Now, certain nuggets of this are likely true. It is no secret that Warner Brothers wishes to compete against the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios as quickly as possible by rushing to craft a "Justice League" film as fast as possible. Plans for a "Wonder Woman" spin off as well as an official sequel to "Man of Steel" are also on a drawing board. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been rumored to be connected to a "Shazam" film for at least five years. It is ambitious for DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers to produce three superhero films a year, considering their inability to construct much which isn't centered around Batman. To that end, some are skeptical that any DC superhero film schedule would stretch into 2018 without an expected reboot of Batman, the only superhero franchise Warner Brothers has seen consistent success with since 1989.

At any rate, after years of being dominated by Marvel Studios, some massive announcement by DC Comics at the SDCC next month seems inevitable, and it will remain to be seen how much of this rumor is true.

DC's war on women is scaring shareholders!

At least this is how a report of a meeting with shareholders at Time Warner's annual meeting went down according to the Hollywood Reporter. After a screening of the upcoming "Gotham" TV series, an unnamed shareholder of Warner Brothers took CEO's Jeff Bawks, Kevin Tsujihara (CEO of Warner Brothers) and Diane Nelson (CEO of DC Entertainment) to task "about the lack of female representation in terms of creative control and the content produced by Warner's DC Entertainment unit". This mystery shareholder noted displeasure with how DC Comics treated female characters in stories and about the lack of influence they have in production (despite their CEO being a woman). Nelson reportedly reassured him that in "a couple of years", more of their corporate efforts to be more inclusive of women (and minorities) will be more noticeable.

Despite the "New 52" relaunch, DC Comics has seen their unit and dollar share diminish over the past year, with Image Comics picking up the slack. As Marvel Studios does laps around DC Entertainment's film division, years of stalling with any film project not related to Batman or Superman are taking a toll. It will remain to be seen if anything from this meeting results in a drastic shift in operations.

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