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Why Aquaman's Dad Looks So Familiar In The Lost Kingdom

It's been a long, long time coming, but the second chapter of the "Aquaman" franchise is soon to hit theaters the world over. And if the recently released trailer for "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" is any indication, the new film will be a super-powered thrill ride of the first order as Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and his underwater allies attempt to stave off their fiercest enemy yet. Curry is, of course, aided in his endeavors by a handful of mortals who also happen to know his secret identity as the king of Atlantis. One of those mortals is his lighthouse-dwelling dad Thomas Curry.

That role was originated by New Zealand native Temuera Morrison in 2018's "Aquaman." Per his brief appearance in "The Lost Kingdom" trailer, Morrison's character will be as stoically quippy as ever in the sequel. Odds are you recognized the distinctive actor when he made his first appearance in "Aquaman," though you may have stumbled in placing exactly from where. As it happens, Morrison has been a supporting player regular in Hollywood for years now, with his credits even including a regular role in a certain galaxy far, far away. Here's where you've likely seen the actor who plays Aquaman's dad before.    

Temeura Morrison got one of his first big breaks opposite Pamela Anderson in the adaptation of Barb Wire

Temuera Morrison is perhaps most recognizable to film and television lovers for fronting a finely-shaven head to go with an arsenal of grizzled facial expressions. While those facial expressions have held throughout much of his career, the actor is almost unrecognizable boasting a full head of pitch-black hair in some of his early roles, which include small parts in major films like "Speed 2: Cruise Control," "Six Days Seven Nights," and "Vertical Limits." But as far as Morrison's earlier roles go, diehard fans no doubt still recognize the actor as the stone-faced badass who helps Pamela Anderson's ass-kicking femme win the day in 1996's cult hit actioner, "Barb Wire."

The comic book adaptation was, of course, soundly drubbed by critics and audiences when it was released, and barely even registered at the worldwide box office. But it has developed a cultish sort of following in recent years, with certain viewers reveling in its schlocky, B-movie charms, despite its other obvious shortcomings. Morrison's work as the titular hero's steely ally Axel is arguably one of the film's legitimate highlights, with the actor going all-in on the character's tough-as-nails schtick. And if you call yourself a fan of Temuera Morrison, you know he's brought a similar edginess to most of the tough guy roles he's played in the years since.   

Morrison has become a Star Wars stalwart over the years

That list of tough guy roles naturally includes those Temuera Morrison has played in the "Star Wars" galaxy. The actor made his first appearance in said galaxy in 2002's "Star Wars: Episode II – The Clone Wars," doing so as feared bounty hunter Jango Fett. The character infamously donned Mandalorian armor, despite the fact that he was very much not from the planet Mandalore. In fact, Jango was revealed to be the genetic template for the Empire's clone army in the film — not to mention the "father" of the young clone who would eventually become Boba Fett.

It was a bit of a casting coup when producers on the Disney+ streamer "The Mandalorian" tapped Morrison to come back into the fold as the grown-up Boba Fett for a string of Season 2 episodes. It was even more thrilling that Morrison was offered the chance to continue Fett's story as the star of his very own series, the gun-slinging, Tatooine-set saga known as "The Book of Boba Fett." Though reactions to the series erred decidedly on the side of mixed, few fans could say Morrison didn't fully own the screen throughout its seven-episode run — save, of course, for the one baffling, if brilliant episode that is focused almost entirely on Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin.

Morrison also donned his Boba Fett gear for a guest spot in the most recent "Star Wars" streaming hit "Ahsoka." However, it's worth noting "The Mandalorian" was not the first time "Star Wars" fans have heard Morrison's distinctive voice coming from underneath the character's iconic helmet. In fact, Morrison has voiced both Boba Fett and Jango Fett in virtually every "Star Wars" video game or animated project to feature the characters since he made his debut.

You might also recognize Morrison's voice from his work in animation

Temuera Morrison's work as a voice actor hardly stops at playing Boba Fett in the "Star Wars" franchise. In fact, he has voiced several characters in animated films, including 2016's "Moana."

Morrison joined Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk, and others in the esteemed cast of the Oscar-nominated animated film. Morrison voiced the title character's father, Chief Tui. While he apparently did not get to belt out the good Chief's signature song, Morrison still portrayed the character with all the heart, wit, and wisdom one could ever want in an overprotective Disney dad in any of the character's non-musical scenes.

Here's to hoping producers recognize Morrison's vocal talents and bring him back to play Chief Tui for the recently announced live-action remake of "Moana." With any luck, they'll actually let him sing Chief Tui's signature tune this go-round, too.   

Aquaman was not Morrison's first foray into the big screen DC Comics realm

Temuera Morrison has brought that same sort of fatherly gravitas to numerous other roles over the years. And yes, he somehow even managed to do so in one of the biggest misses in the history of superhero cinema: 2011's DC Comics adaptation, "Green Lantern." The film fronted Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern in the making, Hal Jordan. And lest fans of the DC Comics creation forget (as some are eager to do in regards to "Green Lantern"), Jordan was actually recruited to the Green Lantern Corps by a purple-skinned warrior named Abin Sur.

That was indeed Temuera Morrison portraying the character in the early moments of "Green Lantern." As those who've seen the film can attest, the role found Morrison donning quite a bit of prosthetic makeup to achieve the character's alien look. As the actor noted in a 2011 interview, that makeup fully aided him in finding his way into playing the iron-willed character. And per that same interview, Morrison clearly enjoyed playing straight opposite a more animated Reynolds in the one scene they shared.

Sadly, it seems Morrison had a lot more fun working on "Green Lantern" than most critics and audiences ever had watching it. It's sort of a blessing then that his second stint in a DC Comics adaptation has to date fared so much better. And it's a safe enough bet that he's enjoyed bringing his grounded, deeply human vibes to the franchise without the use of prosthetics.