Veep, Love and Ant-Man and the Wasp star Randall Park has just joined the cast of James Wan’s Aquaman as Dr. Stephen Shin. The film, which Warner Bros. are desperately hoping is going to shore up the flailing DCEU after the catastrophe of Justice League, is currently undergoing reshoots after some ominous rumblings from test audiences.
While adding a major character from the Aquaman mythos this late in the production isn’t exactly a great omen for its future success, Randall Park is at least a quality actor and should bring something interesting to the somewhat obscure character (though let’s face it, pretty much all of Aquaman’s sidekicks are obscure).
For those unfamiliar, Shin first appeared in Geoff Johns’ Aquaman #3 in November 2011, where it was revealed that he was good friends with Tom Curry, Arthur’s dad, and helped him develop his aquatic powers. Unfortunately, he was also obsessed with learning the location of Atlantis, which naturally puts him at odds with our hero.
The film is billed as a “primal and classic story of revenge,” and in an interesting twist, is apparently told from the perspective of the villain, Black Manta. Given the creative pedigree on display here, and the impressive cast (including Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison and, best of all, Dolph Lundgren), I have high hopes that Wan can both satisfy his corporate masters at Warner Bros. and turn out a kickass superhero film. Having said that, I’ve had that faith before and look where it’s got me.
Either way, the DCEU sinks or swims with the success of Aquaman. If it’s another giant dud for Warner Bros., I’d expect all future projects in the universe to be shelved with the exception of Wonder Woman 2. If it’s a success, well, then let’s just hope that they’ll be able to keep up the momentum with what they’ve got coming down the pipeline.