Is Aquaman a ‘Mess’ or Terrible Right Now?

This weekend there are a lot of sensational stories springing up because writers are selectively quoting Forbes’ Mark Hughes and comments he made on the Superhero News YouTube show about Aquaman. On the show, and speaking of the test screening Warner held for Aquaman back in February, Hughes said: “The conversations about the Aquaman test screening, I’ll say, some people heard positive. We were just talking about this topic minutes ago. Some people heard positive things. Me, personally, I’ll go ahead and just say: Honestly, I’ve heard some negative things. I think there are some issues to be resolved. There are some things to be worked out with Aquaman.”

The issue with how people are reporting that quote is that they’re cutting off his first sentence so they can craft their “DC movie is bad” narrative, because that sort of thing gets you clicks and attention. But what about the negative he’s talking about? Well since he didn’t specify here’s what seems to be one of the issues right now and it’s something that’s fixed in the nine months leading up to the movie:

According to the information my source who saw it provided; the version they tested in February was about two and a half-hours long, and that’s even with what looks like a sequence cut out. So it could use a little trimming. I’m not talking about a Justice League hatchet job to get it down to two hours, but there are some things here and there that might trim 10-15 minutes (some of the Orm stuff could probably be trimmed down, for example). Also, due to that sequence that was cut, the transition from Act 1 to Act 2 is a little jarring; I’ve had people ask me how they get from point A to point B in the story. There are set photos of Aquaman and Mera out there of a shot that doesn’t exist in the movie that was shown, but it fits between two existing scenes based on their costumes. So a short insert could probably fix that issue without having to do a long explanatory sequence.

And of course there are the scheduled reshoots and pickups every movie does, and thanks to Justice League and this “Aquaman is a mess” narrative some web sites are trying to craft already (like they did with Wonder Woman), they will immediately jump on the first mention of additional shooting in an attempt to further their narrative. But those scheduled reshoots, if they even happen, will allow Wan to fix the issues the movie currently has and put out an even better movie in December.

If you’re not adverse to spoilers and want to know how Aquaman plays out, you can via the links below. My source who saw the movie detailed it to me because they wanted to try to get ahead of the suffocating negativity online that seems to surround every DC movie, and that even happened with Wonder Woman before launch. So this way people can judge for themselves if Aquaman is negative or bad, and it’s also going to be cool in December to look back and see what changed between now and then. Also, the description is missing a huge (and I mean really huge) part of the story from the last third of the movie that I intentionally omitted in order to preserve the surprise of that “twist” in December. So if you want to know the whole thing you’ll need to see the movie in theaters.

This is Aquaman (all have spoilers):
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Jeremy has been active on the web since the 90s. He’s written for sites such as IGN and Furious Fanboys and even once worked on Star Wars Galaxies (RIP). A long time ago in a galaxy far far away he used to Podcast about Star Wars with friends.