Director James Wan has famously compared his ‘Aquaman’ film to ‘Star Wars’, in the sense that the film will showcase fantastic and alien worlds, though in this case, they’re underwater rather than in space. And to be sure, the trailer that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend more than bears that out. But the thing about Aquaman is that he’s a character with one foot in both worlds. In every sense, he’s as much a child of Atlantis as he is of the surface world.
With that balancing act (for want of a better word) being baked into the character the way it is, it’s something that has to be taken into account when structuring the film. Put another way, if the film leans too heavily in the direction of one setting over the other, it runs the risk of losing sight of some of the elements that make Aquaman special. As one would hope, this is a reality of which Wan was acutely aware while working on the film.
So how did Wan go about balancing the film’s settings? Well, the film is currently still in post-production, so even its director can only be so specific. But in a recent conversation with Wired, Wan spoke on his thought process and gave an estimate for just how much of ‘Aquaman’ is set underwater.
“The world that I take my characters into is so different from the worlds that the other heroes live in. they live in the DC Universe, but this is not Gotham City. This isn’t Metropolis. You’re going to all these different underwater kingdoms, where these races have spent their whole lives hiding themselves from the surface-world civilization. I would say maybe two thirds or half of the film [is underwater]. It’s a journey movie, so it goes down and up and down. The audience might get a little claustrophobic otherwise; you have to come up for air.”
So it sounds like it’ll be a fairly even split, perhaps slightly favoring the underwater settings. But given that there are clearly a variety of underwater locations and societies being presented, that hopefully means that each of them will get their time in the spotlight, all without leaving the surface world high and dry.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘Aquaman’ and other upcoming DC films as it becomes available!
The next installment in the DC Extended Universe, ‘Aquaman’ has been helmed by director James Wan and stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, and Nicole Kidman. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 21, 2018.