Jason Momoa says he can’t start shooting “Aquaman 2”… because he “got run over by a bulldozer” while protesting construction of a giant telescope on land considered sacred to native Hawaiians.
“Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot ‘Aquaman 2,’” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land THIS iS NOT HAPPENING. WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU DO THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Go somewhere else.”
Apparently he survived his encounter with the bulldozer, because he posted this on Instagram afterwards:
Momoa asked fans to support the protest movement in a follow-up post, writing, “During this time, we are trying to unite both kanaka and Hawai’i born peoples alike to protect not only the mauna, but also our way of life and greatest natural resources in Hawaii as a whole.”
Momoa has been on Mauna Kea, the highest point in the state of Hawaii, attempting to stop the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a $1.4 billion scientific project underwritten by a group of universities in California and Canada as well as partners in China, India and Japan.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been protesting as well, having made a visit to the construction site last month. Hawaii News Now interviewed Johnson:
“Obviously, I’ve been following this for years now — more so as everything has been amping up more recently — but when you come here to Mauna Kea you realize it’s bigger than a telescope. It’s humanity. It’s a culture. It is people, Polynesian people, who are willing to die here to protect this land. This very sacred land.”
The volcano top was selected as site of the telescope in 2009. In 2014, protesters disrupted the blessing ceremony. In 2015 protesters blocked access by construction vehicles and some were arrested. A few months later, there were more arrests and crews had to be pulled back. Hawaii’s Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the construction is legal. Apparently the modern judicial system and the needs and rights of the native Polynesians are at odds.
Mauna Kea, a volcano on the island of Hawai‘i, is sacred to Native Hawaiians as an elder ancestor and the physical embodiment—or kinolau—of deities revered in Hawaiian culture and religion. Thirteen telescopes and support facilities already crowd its sacred landscape. It is a consortium of institutions led by the University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy that now threatens the sanctity of Mauna Kea.
Momoa has contractual obligations to Warner Bros. to begin production on Aquaman 2, which is slated to hit theaters on Dec. 16, 2022, so sooner or later he will have to come down off the mountain, win or lose. The first film grossed $1.15 billion at the worldwide box office and was directed by James Wan.