Fast & Furious
As well as his horror background, Wan has also worked on the Fast & Furious franchise. Specifically, he directed 2015’s Furious 7. There’s not a visual easter egg to the action movie series in Aquaman, as such, but there is an audible one.
You can’t have failed to miss the Pitbull song that plays in the sequence where Arthur and Mera emerge from the water in slow-motion as they arrive in the Sahara. It was an original song for the film, though it samples Toto’s “Africa.” And as Wan explained, he wanted to get the frequent Fast & Furious musician on board so that he could get a bit of the sensibility from those movies in this scene.
“Having made a Fast & Furious movie, it was kind of fun to see the characters come out of the water in slow motion with this hip-hop music in the background.”
Wan admitted that the move might not be to everyone’s tastes and comes across as a bit out of place in the film, but he wanted to pay homage to his last major blockbuster outing.
“It’s almost like, I know it seems to some a little bit weird, but it’s almost like my little tribute to my Fast & Furious background.”
“I Hear You Can Talk To Fish”
When you mention the name Aquaman to people, there’s pretty much one thing they’ll say in response: “oh, he’s the one that can talk to fish.” Despite the character possessing a fine array of powers, ol’ Arthur has become the butt of the joke for decades now, probably because of his campy Super Friends incarnation from the 1970s.
Aquaman is mostly interested in breaking down the stereotype though by presenting a hero who’s badass and cool and is treated as a mythical king. However, it can’t resist a nod to the old joke earlier on. In a flashback scene to young Arthur’s childhood visit to the Boston Aquarium, one bully says to the boy: “I hear you can talk to fish.”
As well as a reference to the joke, it’s also a direct lift of the line Bruce Wayne says to Arthur when he meets him for the first time in Justice League – no wonder he looked so pissed off in that movie, as it probably reminded him of his childhood bullies. Not cool, Bruce.