Despite the complications of filming underwater, Aquaman director James Wan is committed to using as many practical effects as possible. The DC Extended Universe movie will unite Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Amber Heard as Mera on the big screen for another adventure, following their appearances as the characters in the first DCEU Justice League movie this November.
Aquaman, until further notice, will serve as the DCEU’s lone 2018 release, following the one-two punch of Wonder Woman and Justice League this year. Filming on Aquaman is well underway, as evidenced by the set videos and photos of the movie’s actors that have leaked online over the past few months. It has long been presumed that the film will require an extensive amount of time for post-production, in order to allow it to properly brings its many underwater locations and settings to life on the big screen. Based on Wan’s latest comments, that assumption was the correct one, too.
THR spoke with Wan about the progress of the Aquaman shoot, and it turns out all the underwater filming has indeed been quite a burden for production:
“It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on. Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex…Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff.”
Not only will Aquaman feature plenty of underwater action, but even smaller moments look to take place beneath the waves. While Wan could have simply found ways to shoot these scenes inside structures or on dry land, it seems he’s committed to giving the movie and authentic feel.
Though CGI will help with some of the small details, Wan made clear that he’s trying to avoid computer-generated effects as much as possible. Keeping things practical will certainly add a layer to the DCEU that we’ve yet to see, but it’s not without its setbacks:
“That just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this. So it’s not an easy shoot — but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line.”
Given Wan’s success on Saw, The Conjuring, and Furious 7, it looks as if WB is giving him the leeway to branch out and try new things. And while Aquaman might seem an odd choice for such experimentation, the Atlantean setting also provides a unique opportunity. So far, the DCEU has arguably been hamstrung by its over-reliance on CGI and color-correction, so having a more natural look could set Aquaman apart.
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