DC's Aqualad Gets His Own Live-Action Show on HBO Max

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Aqualad, HBO Max logo

DC is filled with interesting new characters and a vast comics history, meaning that Warner Bros. has a lot to pull from if it decides to push through with a new project on screen. So far, the studio has several branches, which mostly comes in the main DCEU, the Arrowverse, and several spin-offs whose place in the wider Multiverse is still unknown. 

Amid all the DC projects, The Flash is expected to explore all the different universes as it pushes the Multiverse to the forefront. While fans wait for the film’s release, more projects are reportedly being developed for HBO Max. 

Now, another series appears to have received the green light from HBO Max. 

Aqualad Takes The Spotlight on HBO Max 

Jackson Aquaman

Variety shared that HBO Max is developing a series based on the YA graphic novel, "You Brought Me the Ocean," which revolves around the origin story of DC's Aqualad.

You Brought Me To the Ocean

The outlet further unveiled that the one-hour dramedy is based on characters from DC and the graphic novel written by Alex Sanchez and Jul Maroh. The HBO Max series is set to explore the life of Jackson "Jake" Hyde, a gay teenager in New Mexico, who falls in love with his classmate, Kenny Liu, while uncovering his superhuman abilities such as breathing under and controlling water. 

Variety mentioned that no writer is attached to the project yet. Charlize Theron is reportedly attached as an executive producer alongside A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, and Andrew Haas of Denver & Delilah Films. The show will be produced under Warner Bros. Television.

Where 'Aqualad' Fits in the DC Multiverse 

It is unknown if this reported Aqualad origin series will be connected to the wider DCEU or other universes like the Arrowverse.

The fact that the show is being developed under HBO Max could already eliminate the prospect of it being set alongside Grant Gustin's The Flash and the rest of the Arrowverse heroes, but The CW's sale might at least give hope that this project will be part of this universe. 

Meanwhile, if it is set in the DCEU, then this could follow the trend of seeing spinoff shows that are connected to the big screen, similar to what The Batman will do with Colin Farrell's Penguin series. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom could introduce the franchise's Aqualad, thus serving as a launchpad for the character's HBO Max series while still being inspired by the aforementioned graphic novel. 

Still, it's possible that this origin series is disconnected from the previously established franchises. Doing this would allow the producers more freedom with their storytelling, keeping it fresh from the constraints of incorporating interconnected elements from the wider universe. 

A key tidbit from the report is the confirmation that it will explore the character's sexuality. This isn't the first time that an HBO Max series will showcase representation in the superhero genre, as its already-confirmed Green Lantern series will feature a gay man, Alan Scott, as one of its leads. This shows that the studio is on the right track in terms of prioritizing representation, indicating that more related projects will soon be explored.

Charlize Theron's involvement comes as a surprise for some, but a past interview may shed some light on the subject.

When previously asked why she hasn't joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, the veteran actress revealed that she's "paving [her] own way"  and "creating her own opportunities." It seems that those opportunities ultimately led to this DC project, marking her first foray into the realm of superheroes. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.