In a rare bit of honesty from a major comic book publisher (or at least, the division that handles its animated films), DC has admitted that people think Aquaman is lame, and they hope to change that perception with the upcoming animated movie, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. "A lot of times with Aquaman people just focus on his powers and their opinion of them as being lame — which I don't believe — and that's all they think of him," said producer James Tucker in an interview with TV Guide. "Hopefully we've made him a person in people's eyes first. And then the powers and the telepathy with fish and all that can be put in perspective."
Convincing people that Aquaman isn't a joke won't be easy. He is, after all, Aquaman, and lacks all of the characteristics that people look for in a superhero, such as powers that work outside of water, a name that isn't stupid, or being a talking raccoon with guns. "It's an uphill struggle," Tucker admitted.
Perhaps step one is casting hunky actor Matt Lanter as Aquaman. Lanter, whose credits include a role as Liam Court on the 90210 remake and Annakin Skywalker on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "If there's one character more universally shit on than Aquaman, it's Annakin Skywalker," Tucker explained. "This will be viewed as a step up for Lanter in his voice-acting career, and hopefully that momentum will carry over to fans."
The movie will be a continuation of last year's Justice League War, and will bring back most of the cast from that. From the TV Guide article:
The film, a continuation of the story begun in last winter's Justice League: War, brings back much of the cast, including Jason O'Mara (Batman), Shemar Moore (Cyborg), Christopher Gorham (the Flash), Sean Astin (Shazam). Several Warner Animation vets return to play in the DC sandbox, including Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Rosario Dawson (Wonder Woman) and Jerry O'Connell (Superman). Being Human's Sam Witwer, another Clone Wars alum, stars as Aquaman's devious brother Orm, who is behind the move towards war, while Sumalee Montano, who played Katana in Beware the Batman, plays the fiery badass Mera, Aquaman's future queen.
However, the design of Aquaman will be based on DC Co-Publisher and Lazy Cat Jim Lee's Nu52 costume, so Aquaman will have a very high collar, which should also make a big difference. "Focus groups have responded well to the design," Tucker told TV Guide. "According to our research, audiences feel 10% less likely to laugh derisively when Aquaman communes telepathically with a flounder for each inch that his collar protrudes above his shoulders."
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis is expected to be released early next year.