Jason Momoa’s latest movie, Slumberland, is the number one movie on Netflix. In all but two of the countries with access to the streaming service, Slumberland is in the top 5, with only India and Japan relegating the movie to the top 10. This is, of course, fantastic news for the Aquaman star and his fans, despite the tepid critical reception for the film.
Jason Momoa plays Flip in Slumberland, a satyr-like con artist that serves as a guide and companion to child star Marlow Barkley’s Nemo. The streaming hit is based off of the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic, which ran in American newspapers around the turn of the previous century. In this updated adaptation, Nemo is gender-flipped, and according to critics, the film forsakes the source material for a sense of spectacle.
In the new film, Nemo finds a map of Slumberland. With the help of Flip he navigates dreams and nightmares to see her late father, played by Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler, again. The pair hop from dream to dream using the map, staying ahead of both a pursuing bureaucratic agent and an all-encompassing nightmare. Jason Momoa’s time in Slumberland, as pointed out by critics, is remarkably different from the source material to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.
Critics are, on a whole, unamused by the film and lamenting the misuse of the inventive classic comic. A 37% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes speaks to the reception the film is receiving, while a much better 87% audience score explains why it is number one in so many countries. Jason Momoa’s Slumberland is likely to join the pantheon of other big-budget kid-friendly fantasy movies with a poor critical reception but become audience favorites.
Given how Jason Momoa almost never had the chance even to film Slumberland, just getting released on Netflix is a major accomplishment for the cast and crew. On March third, the Game of Thrones star was announced as the male lead, which was a case of poor timing though no one knew at the moment. Sure enough, just a few weeks after, COVID-19 delayed the project.
In what was ultimately a stroke of good luck, the delay allowed more stars to sign on as the film fleshed out the roles. Both Chandler and Werucha Opia, playing Agent Green, were cast using the extra time afforded by the production delay. Jason Momoa finally started filming Slumberland in February 2021, with production ending in May of the same year.
Jason Momoa and Slumberland turning out to be a huge hit despite the pandemic is great news for both the star and the streaming service. The next projects for the Hawaiian star include Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, followed by his debut in the Fast and Furious franchise. For now, fans of the musclebound heartthrob can catch him in the number-one streaming movie in the world, another accolade for an increasingly successful career.