Aquaman director James Wan has a weirdo new horror movie on HBO Max (and in theaters) this weekend that may or may not owe the slightest nod to an old Simpsons Halloween special, but that’s not the only weird thing he’s been working on. Next month will see the premiere of a new Aquaman cartoon executive produced by Wan that seems to be aggressively not courting the average DC movie fan—unless the DC movie we’re talking about is the delightful Teen Titans Go! To The Movies. Titled Aquaman: King Of Atlantis, the series comes from Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Marly Halpern-Graser and ThunderCats Roar!’s Victor Courtright (two other spins on nerdy properties that didn’t take themselves or their intellectual property especially seriously).
Its Aquaman, who looks and acts nothing like Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in Wan’s other Aquaman stuff, is played by The Walking Dead’s Cooper Andrews, with Gillian Jacobs playing Mera, Thomas Lennon playing Vulko, and Dana Snyder (Master Shake himself) as Ocean Master. Those are all characters we know from the movie, so the fact that they’re all being included here rather than being replaced by other members of Aquaman’s supporting cast (not that there are too many other famous names on that list) seems… purposeful. Like Wan and everyone else involved is specifically saying “this is a different Aquaman, you may only compare it to the movies if it’s to acknowledge how different it is.”
Excessive preamble aside, this trailer for the series is fun. Aquaman struggling to get comfortable on his goofy seahorse throne is fun. The blank expressions of the various fish-people he rules are fun. Ocean Master’s little accusatory gurgle is fun. Does that mean this is going be a fun show that elitist nerds are overly critical of because it’s not a serious reboot of Super Friends or a billion-dollar film franchise? We’ll know when it premieres on HBO Max on October 14.