The DCEU is undergoing a rebrand in the wake of Justice League‘s flop. And directors are taking note of distancing themselves from the film with stories that serve the characters rather than lead up to the ensemble event.
While Aquaman may be the only DCEU film to hit theaters later this year, WB is now releasing a batch of new images from the upcoming film. In addition, director James Wan spoke about his vision for the character and why the film will distance itself from Justice League. More on the story below.
The images and quotes are via Entertainment Weekly.
As a young boy David Kane was kidnapped and raised by pirates. In his youth he was subjected to sexual abuse. One day he saw Aquaman in the distance, but failed to get his attention. So there is some resentment that motivates him to become a villain whose anger is fueled by the fact that Aquaman could not save him. However, Wan’s vision for the villain is somewhat different. Played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Black Manta isn’t the main villain of the film, but his character will help service the sibling rivalry between Arthur and Orm.
“He’s part mercenary but full-time pirate who in his suit will look like some crazy alien from outer space… Black Manta is a really interesting character who is somehow factored into this story but our main story is about Jason and Patrick.”
Indeed, the suit does look rather cool. It’s almost as if it draws inspiration from the early days of deepsea diving while also feeling a bit high-tech. It’s not nearly as sleek as its comic book iterations. But maybe Kane’s piracy has something to do with that. Maybe he built the suit himself from all the loot he plundered. Of course, that is pure speculation. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that I cannot wait to see the suit in its entirety.
When DCEU was first launched, WB had planned on making their films darker than the Marvel competitors. However, that plan hasn’t worked out as well as they would have hoped. So executive producer Peter Safran promises that Aquaman will have plenty of humor and not be as dark as previous DCEU films.
“Rarely has a superhero character been married to the real-life actor as much as Aquaman and Jason Momoa. He’s authentically from two worlds, he’s this real physical specimen, he’s got this humor which he’s never been allowed to play before — in every regard he is Aquaman.”
Fans got a first taste of what Atlantis could look like in Aquaman‘s standalone film. While it was a teaser, it hinted at what was to come. However, Wan says his film will distance itself from Justice League or any other DCEU film.
“The water world my movie takes place in is so separate and so far apart from previous DC movies it’s like I’m making my own sci-fi fantasy film. This is a whole new underwater world nobody has seen before in live action.”
And in addition to the interesting quotes there are also a handful of new images giving us our first look at Amber Heard as Mera, Arthur’s wife and queen of Atlantis; Patrick Wilson as Orm, Arthur’s half-brother and chief villain aka Ocean Master; and Nicole Kidman as Queen Alanna. Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, and Dolph Lundgren round out the cast.
Of course, the release of these photos generally means that the first trailer isn’t too far away. At least will we have a better sense of how Aquaman fits into the DCEU. But judging by Wan’s comments, it looks like Aquaman will be its own film within the DCEU.
Aquaman opens in theaters on December 21, 2018.