Indie filmmaker Jeff Nichols had an Aquaman pitch that would’ve made “hundreds of dollars”

Nichols says he pitched a movie where Aquaman was sad and had his '90s hook hand

Indie filmmaker Jeff Nichols had an Aquaman pitch that would’ve made “hundreds of dollars”
Jeff Nichols Photo: Gareth Cattermole

Jeff Nichols, the director of Mud, Loving, and the upcoming Bikeriders, was apparently in the running for an Aquaman movie a decade ago (Variety says it came up in the Sony hack), and on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he shared some details about what he was planning. Nichols says he’s a fan of the “older” version of Aquaman, “when he had a harpoon for a hand” (that was in the ‘90s, it wasn’t that long ago), and so his movie would’ve been more in-line with that more grizzled and bitter version of the character than the super-bro that Jason Momoa ultimately played.

Nichols says his movie, which was just a pitch and never got any further than that, would’ve been about Aquaman dealing with the death of his son, and he would’ve been “in mourning” during the movie. Fortunately for Nichols, he’s not too devastated about the missed opportunity, saying that he thinks the movie would’ve “sold hundreds of dollars worth of tickets.” He says ideas like that are ultimately “fun to noodle on,” but we’ve “got a lot of those movies now” and “it’s okay to spend time telling some other ones.” (In other words, there are enough superhero movies out there and he doesn’t feel bad about not getting to make one.)

That being said, he did kind of make one already, since Midnight Special is sort of a Superman movie, but maybe it’s for the best that he didn’t get shoehorned into that. He has other things he wants to do, like that troubled Alien Nation remake, which he says has moved over to a new studio and isn’t really an Alien Nation remake anymore, but it does have something to do with aliens and might end up being very expensive and, he says, “might be the worst experience of my life.” But, once the strikes are over, he’s excited to go back to work on it.

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