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Aquaman star Jason Momoa says superhero movies are “like Greek mythology”

Being part of the DCEU allows him to emphasise issues he's passionate about.

Jason Momoa playing Aquaman in Justice League

Jason Momoa, who plays Aquaman in the DCEU, has some strong feelings on detractors of comic book movies. During a 2021interview, he defended superhero flicks, and the multitudinous craft that goes into them.

“Yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they’re like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments,” he told The New York Times. “And, gosh, you’re taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You’re taking away visual effects, you’re taking away what you can do with makeup.” Momoa compares talking about the best movies to discussing music, saying that he tries “not to pick on anything”, because it’s all down personal taste.

The artistic credibility of the likes of the DC Extended Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a divisive topic. Many people love them for the qualities Momoa describes, getting lost in the grandeur and melodrama of it all. Others dislike their stylistic ubiquity and find the endless franchising exhausting. Both sides have merit to their arguments, and it doesn’t take much for either to make their feelings known, as evidenced by the fallout of Martin Scorsese suggesting he’s not an MCU stan.

Momoa goes on to say that blockbusters have allowed him express ideas in a way he otherwise couldn’t, because he isn’t often hired for other kinds of roles. Climate change is a particular one Aquaman has allowed him express.

I’m not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about,” he explains. “I have a vision for the whole totality of Aquaman. There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you’re going, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just this popcorn movie,’ I’m like, ‘Well, I get to open people’s eyes to things that are important to me’.”

After starring in the first Aquaman, Momoa got a story credit on the sequel. He shared story duties with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who then wrote the screenplay.