Aquaman director James Wan says there's no one else to blame but him if the movie fails. Starring Jason Momoa's hybrid superhero Arthur Curry, the upcoming Warner Bros. project will mark the first DC movie to come out after the franchise's more than a year hiatus following Justice League's financial disappointment. Considering the DCEU's less than ideal track record so far, the 41-year-old filmmaker is taking full responsibility if the public doesn't respond positively to the upcoming film.
Set after the events of Justice League, Aquaman follows Arthur to Atlantis as he sets out to claim his place as the rightful heir of his mother, Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). Standing in his way, however, is his half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson) who is also planning to wage war on the surface world. With the help of Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe), the half-human/half-Atlantean will search for the Trident of Neptune that will help him prove his worthiness to be the king of Atlantis.
Related: James Wan Interview: Aquaman
Speaking with The New York Times in celebration of the nearing release of Aquaman, Wan opened up about the creative process behind the movie, including how much liberty he had while working on it. While it was great having total control over the film, that also means that he has full responsibility if people, sadly, don't like it.
It’s pretty crazy. For as big a movie as “Aquaman” is, I could not have had more freedom. I had all the big tools and the budget to paint on a really big canvas, but with the freedom I had on, let’s say, “Saw” or “Insidious.” So if the movie works, or doesn’t work, I have no one to blame but myself.
It's no secret that some DCEU films were subjected to studio meddling, most notably Zack Snyder's Justice League. Following the ensemble film's director switch to Joss Whedon, who manned the extensive reshoots, Snyder's original narrative for the film was significantly changed - something that is still a controversial topic for his fans more than a year after the movie was released. Given this, many were worried that Wan would experience the same thing, but based on his words, he seems to have full creative control over Aquaman. The fact that the movie has very minor connections to the bigger franchise also allowed the director to focus on developing Arthur's story instead of keeping tabs on how he fits in the reality he inhabits in. For some filmmakers, having the free rein to put their own stamp on a project despite that is part of an interconnected film series is very important and Wan was granted the opportunity.
Compared to many of its DCEU predecessors, Aquaman's initial reviews are generally positive, and the film is also performing well at the international box office. That's proof for Warner Bros. that filmmaker-driven movies tend to be better-received than those that are shackled by studio interference. The same thing happened with director Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman, which was DCEU's lone smash hit for a time. She is granted total creative control again for Wonder Woman 1984 and should Wan sign on for the planned Aquaman sequel, its safe to say that he'll get the same courtesy.
Source: The New York Times
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
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