Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is making waves with its unique approach to storytelling and thematic exploration. Director James Wan shared some exciting updates on the film’s progress and what fans can expect from the underwater adventure in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Amidst the reboot of the DC Universe led by James Gunn and Peter Safran, James Wan finds himself facing the challenges of navigating an ever-evolving landscape. As the visionary behind the Jason Momoa-led Aquaman series, Wan acknowledges the task of maintaining its uniqueness within the context of the DCU’s new direction.
“I’ve had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what’s going on. Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We’re going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what’s happening with the other movies and characters, so we’re stand-alone in that respect. So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what’s been happening.”
James Wan expressed optimism regarding the progress of the film, specifically highlighting the upcoming Directors Guild of America contract negotiations as a significant milestone in the production timeline. One notable aspect that distinguishes Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom from its predecessor is its shift in tone. Wan revealed that the sequel would explore a slightly more serious and thought-provoking direction, tackling timely issues such as climate change.
“It’s a big movie. I cannot wait for people to see it. I think people are going to be excited to see that this movie is quite different from the first movie in terms of tone. It’s a little bit more serious, and we’re dealing with issues like climate change. We’re not afraid to lean into that in a big way, because the Aquaman comic book, even way back when, has always been environmentally conscious. He’s always been someone who’s fought to keep the ocean clean, and it feels more relevant in the world that we’re living in today. So this movie has something to talk about, but it’s still a fun action-fantasy movie.”
Jason Momoa made his debut as Aquaman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opened in theaters in March 2016. The following year, Momoa was featured alongside the rest of the DC Universe heroes in Justice League, before reprising the role for his Aquaman standalone movie, which is the highest-grossing DC Comics feature to date. His character is expected to appear in The Flash ahead of his Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom return.
The future of the DC Universe
James Gunn and Peter Safran told journalists that their vision for the DC Universe includes locked scripts, wiggle room and a unified storyline across film, television, animation and video game projects. The two explained that the DC Universe could bring back elements from previous DC regimes, meaning that their eight-to-year plan is not a full reboot.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom are currently in various stages of post-production at Warner Bros. Discovery, with all four DC Universe movies slated to hit theaters in 2023. Will the characters from those movies make appearances in the new DCU? Only Gunn and Safran know.
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