2018’s “Aquaman” is sometimes described as an over-the-top movie, and the biggest example of this over-the-topped-ness is generally considered to be the scene where an octopus can be seen playing the drums while the people of Atlantis prepare to watch Arthur and his half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), fight to lay claim over the throne of the underwater nation.
The drum-playing octopus might seem like a bizarre addition to the movie, but there are actually a couple of solid reasons for its presence. First of all, the octopus in the film is inspired by Topo, Aquaman’s long-time octopus ally in the comics, who played a variety of musical instruments. “If you Google ‘Topo Aquaman,’ you see all these really goofy characters of this octopus playing musical instruments,” Wan told Huffington Post (via Comicbook.com). “So I’m like, ‘OK, how do I take that and bring it into my movie and make it cool?’”
Additionally, Wan saw a drum-playing octopus placed in the middle of the action as essentially fulfilling the same role as the guy from “Mad Max: Fury Road” who plays a fire-belching guitar in the middle of the film’s chase sequences. “In [Fury Road] there is literally a guitar guy having flames shooting from his instrument,” Wan told Metro. “It doesn’t do anything for the narrative. But it creates a really unique world. That was my goal for [the drum-playing octopus] as well.”