Aquaman still doesn’t have a trailer, but maybe that’s okay because a just-released image introducing some new characters in the movie has so much visual stimuli that it might be for the best that we’re not seeing this underwater Avatar-esque merman in motion just yet.
The new image debuted in Entertainment Weekly on Friday, and it depicts Djimon Hounsou as the Fisherman King, the leader of one of Atlantis’ seven kingdoms whose people evolved to be much more fish-like. He’s joined by Fisherman Queen (Natalia Safran) and Fisherman Princess (Sophia Forrest). All of them look very serious, decked out in extremely bright gold armor and sporting classic mermaid tales that are largely out of frame.
According to EW, the photo is from a scene where King Orm (Patrick Wilson) goes to the Fisherman King in a bid to enlist his army in a war against the surface world.
“After the fall of Atlantis, some of the kingdoms evolved and some devolved,” producer Peter Safran said of the Fisherman King’s look. “This is one that evolved. This is a kingdom that’s primarily artistic and cerebral, with poets and philosophers.”
The aesthetics of this image are really, really weird and very bright, which is probably a good thing for the typically way-too-serious DC movie franchise. Even so, it’s a lot to take in. It looks like a big budget Chinese Avatar rip-off. The Queen and Princess look like the creature from The Shape of Water and the Faun from Pan’s Labyrinth got down and dirty. The Fisherman King looks like a constipated version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
It’s promising that Aquaman appears to be taking some big, strange swings. That’s good — let’s just hope that the movie doesn’t fall prey to another problem that plagues the DCEU. If the CGI antics are too cluttered and busy for audiences to make out how beautifully strange and ornate everything is, then it’s not an effective design choice.
Aquaman debuts on December 21, 2018.