Why James Wan Insisted On An Isolated Stand Alone Film for ‘Aquaman’


Within the world of comic book movies, it has been generally accepted to keep them tied into the same general time frame and space. That is exactly what James Wan didn’t want for his new Aquaman film. On the contrary, he wanted his film to be as isolated as possible from all other films. This would allow him the freedom to explore and others that follow him not to be tied down to his personal concepts and vision.

Given this freedom, Wan wanted to thoroughly introduce Arthur Curry’s home of Atlantis in his film, something he was adamant about doing even while Justice League was in development. His other goal was to tell an entirely standalone story. Wan broke it all down for ComicBook.com while in his edit bay on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California.

It was very important for me early on to be allowed to make my own film and to have my own voice be in there,” Wan said. “After Furious Seven and Conjuring 2, I didn’t want to be a director for hire. After Furious Seven, that’s kind of who I was to some degree, but after that, I don’t want to be that guy again. So, it was very important for me to be able to bring my own stamp, my own visual aesthetic, create the characters. Even though Jason [Momoa] has somewhat been established Justice League, I wanted to bring his character into this, basically, fresh in a lot of ways. So it was important for me to obviously pay a respect to where he was left off in [Justice League], but then allow me the freedom to take him to where I want to take him at the end of the movie. My hero goes on this hero’s journey to become someone very different than where he started. That was something that was very important for me. But the movie I want to make, that I was allowed that freedom to do that.

In keeping with his stand alone vision of the film, Aquaman will be completely free of Justice League characters, other than the hero himself and his close pal Mera.

The good thing about not necessarily involving the other characters, I can kind of do whatever I want in this story, in this world, and not be beholden to what somebody else is making,” Wan said. “And vice versa, not have someone else be beholden to what I’m doing. What I’m doing is very circular to the world of Aquaman.

Does this mean that no references for other possible DC films will be found? Wan was non-commital but said: “You’re just going to have to wait for the film.”

One thing is for certain, Wan is quite enthusiastic about the world he will be able to establish in the upcoming film. But for him, it is just the tip of a larger iceberg.

I definitely got to create a massive part,” Wan said. “I really think what has been really fun, and I think for moviegoers, not just the fans, is when they see this film, they’re not just seeing a world of DC. They’re literally seeing a world within Aquaman itself. Just within the world of Aquaman, just creating the different kingdoms, like the different world, the machines that drive the world. They transport the animals that live in this underwater world and all that stuff. So I’ve never made a movie that is so heavily designed to this extent, and it was really awesome just being able to come up with really interesting things, and just run with it. And when the film comes out, I think you’re going to see how crazy big it is.”

Does it hurt Aquaman not to be tethered to other past or future DC films? Are you ready to explore James Wan’s vision of Atlantis through the eyes of Arthur Curry? Share what you expect to see when getting the chance to explore Atlantis with us at GVNation.