Aquaman adds another villain: Dolph Lundgren will play King Nereus – here’s why you should be excited

Aquaman is pulling out all the stops to be leagues ahead of its comic book movie contemporaries in the villainy stakes. Black Manta and Orn will be joined by Dolph freakin’ Lundgren, with the Rocky IV star playing King Nereus. But just who is Nereus and why will he prove more than a match for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman?

The Hollywood Reporter have revealed that Lundgren’s return to comic book movies (fun fact: he played The Punisher in the 1980s) will be a turn as royal baddie King Nereus. For all the depths DC could have plunged in their long and storied back catalogue of villains, Nereus is new to the rogues’ gallery, debuting in 2013.

In the comics, he’s ruler of the kingdom of Xebel and, interestingly, his big storyline – wanting to marry Mera after she’s sent to kill Aquaman – could tie in very nicely with the movie’s current setup. Spoiler: she doesn’t marry him and he gets ticked off at Aquaman, to put it mildly.

Dolph Lundgren going underwater mano a mano with Jason Momoa is worth the price of admission alone - plus Lundgren is, in my estimation, pound-for-pound the best movie villain ever. Expect lots of chewed scenery, amazing one-liners and several scowls into the middle distance. It’s gonna be goooood. I mean, look at him…

There’s a chance that, with Patrick Wilson’s Orn and Yayha Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta already included on the villain side of things that the movie may be stacked with too many bad guys, especially for a debut movie. At the very least, Aquaman will have a lot of opportunities to use that trident of his…

Want more Aquaman news? Here’s everything you need to know about Aquaman and a glimpse at Aquaman underwater in Justice League.

Directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Yayha Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren, Aquaman is arriving in theaters December 21, 2018.

Images: DC/Paul Pelletier & Sean Parsons and Lionsgate

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.