If you were given the choice of directing DC’s The Flash or Aquaman, which would you choose? For James Wan, he’d choose Aquaman.
The horror director known for Insidious, The Conjuring, and Saw was asked exactly this by Warner Bros. executives. With little hesitation, he chose Aquaman. If the records Aquaman is breaking are any indication, he chose correctly.
According to Den of Geek, Wan was asked to direct either The Flash or Aquaman. He said this, “I think the Flash is a really cool character…But the reason why, ultimately, I picked Aquaman is that he had never been done on the big screen or the small screen before. At least, not to this level. I think there was The Man From Atlantis, the Patrick Duffy film. But that’s not really an Aquaman story.”
That’s not the only reason. Wan continued by explaining, “I picked Aquaman because I felt like he was very unique. I’ve never seen him before. And also it allowed me to do my world creation film. The Flash lives more in the real world while Aquaman just lives in this world that I can just create from the ground up.”
Given that Atlantis is in the eye of the beholder, his reasoning makes sense. With a character like The Flash, Wan would’ve been limited to what the world looks like. Central City is just another big, American city. Atlantis, on the other hand, isn’t. Atlantis is how the creators perceive it to be. There is no mold or archetype for the Sunken City to follow. It allows creators to create.
I did not want to make a traditional superhero film,” Wan says. “I did not want to make a movie that felt that way. I wanted to make an adventure, a fantasy film, not dissimilar to Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.”
Aquaman and Atlantis allowed Wan the freedom to create a fantasy film. And he did just that. Atlantis is breathtaking.
Hopefully, the James Wan directed Aquaman leads to a James Wan directed sequel.
Aquaman hits theatres December 21, 2018.