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Reacher star Alan Ritchson played Aquaman long before Jason Momoa

He may be better known as the hulking hero Jack Reacher right now, but Alan Ritchson actually briefly played a DCU mainstay years ago, and it's rather funny.

Alan Ritchson as Reacher, with the Justice League in the background

He’s made a solid name for himself now as the star of Reacher, but Alan Ritchson has previously played an even more powerful character before. The actor once portrayed Aquaman long before the DCU began, but you’re very likely to have missed this brief and bizarre cameo.

The DCU is about to undergo some pretty hefty changes. That’s going to make watching the DC movies in order a lot more complicated, but it should all be for the best. James Gunn and Peter Safran’s upcoming slate of new movies – titled Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters – is a firm reboot of the franchise, with a whole new bunch of actors playing the best DC characters.

You might expect someone with the physique of Alan Ritchson to be primed for a role in some of the best superhero movies, but he’s kind of already been there and done that. Once upon a time, he played Aquaman on the small screen.

Ritchson portrayed the underwater hero many years ago for Smallville, one of the best TV series depictions of Superman. Smallville centered around a young Clark Kent as he gets to grips with his superpowers while also navigating life as a teenager. Throughout the show, various other heroes (and DC villains) popped up as nods to the wider comic book world.

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As you can see from the video above, one such appearance saw Ritchson rock up as Aquaman, and in typical fashion, it’s at a totally awesome party taking place at a lake. Seems Ritchson has always been absolutely ripped and has quite the knack for saving the day.

Funnily enough, despite appearing as Arthur Curry in four episodes of Smallville, when plans were put in place for an Aquaman TV show, Ritchson was replaced for the pilot by Justin Hartley. However, Ritchson insists he had no hard feelings about that decision. In an appearance on the Inside of You podcast, the actor said he “wasn’t mad at all.” In fact, he even admitted that he couldn’t believe he was in line for such a big break at that stage of his career.

Funnily enough, Ritchson now stars in one of the best thriller series, Reacher, with another Smallville alum, Kristen Kreuk. Kreuk played Lana Lang on Smallville, the love interest of Clark Kent, but it seems Aquaman won the battle on that one. Speaking of the Man of Steel, check out our guide to Superman Legacy, or find out how to watch the Superman movies in order.