Aquaman villain has an eco-warrior motive, Patrick Wilson reveals
Thanos would give a thumbs up to Aquaman antagonist King Orm.
Patrick Wilson, who plays Arthur Curry’s regal Atlantean half-brother in the upcoming DC film, gave EW some intriguing insight on the character.
“He’s kind of an eco-warrior,” Wilson says. “He’s got a very clear gripe with the surface world, which has been polluting his oceans for centuries. And that’s something for me — I’m sure for you too — that’s very easy to understand. If somebody was just constantly polluting our air and ruining how we lived…”
The motive is a rather topical issue coming on the heels of UN chief António Guterres at the G7 summit last week warning of a “global emergency” due to oceanic pollution, noting, “Unless we change course, plastic waste could soon outweigh all the fish in the oceans … It kills marine life and is doing major harm to communities that depend on fishing and tourism.”
Well-meaning comic-book movie villains are turning into a trend. Earlier this year Black Panther antagonist Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) was sympathetic in his goals to fight racial inequality. Last month, the blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War had Thanos (Josh Brolin) endeavoring to kill off half the population in the universe due to overpopulation concerns.
In Aquaman, Orm seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war on the surface world (that’s us), an idea that doesn’t sit well with Curry (Jason Momoa).
Wilson is a frequent collaborator with Aquaman director James Wan, who he worked with on the Insidious and The Conjuring franchises. One interesting thing about his casting is that with his blonde Anglo clean-cut features Wilson looks like a traditional Aquaman, while star Momoa resembles the type of actor who typically gets cast as the heavy.
Wan says he tapped Wilson because Orm isn’t an outright villain, he wanted an actor the audience would like — plus he just loves working with the guy.
“Patrick is such a talented actor and a chameleon as well, he can disappear into any role,” Wan tells us. “Orm’s got a soft spot for his brother who lives on the surface world and if anything just wants him to rule Atlantis and the world together, but his brother doesn’t see it that way. A lot of the clashes they have stem from their different upbringings. So I didn’t want to cast a typical villain actor.”
MORE: 7 new Aquaman photos released, showing Vulko, Black Manta, Queen Atlanna, Mera and more.
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