Entertainment Weekly has exclusive images and new information from James Wan as he fields rough waters.
After much delay and studio drama, another DCEU hero will see the long-awaited release of their solo film. Granted, this solo film is a sequel. The first Aquaman was able to avoid strong undertows and treacherous waves on its way to the big screen and became a hit when the Jason Momoa outing joined the billion-dollar club, grossing $1.148 billion at the global box office. For Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed as COVID delays and schedule changes put the film, which was originally supposed to precede The Flash, at a year’s delay. It was even feared that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes might have even pushed it back further to 2024, but for now it’s secure.
Just as there was talk of suspicions that the December film had barely released any advanced marketing, a trailer announcement for the week had dropped online. Now, Entertainment Weekly has released its exclusive first-look photos along with a new interview with director James Wan. Wan had his hands full early on with calls for the recasting of Amber Heard in the wake of her controversy with Johnny Depp. Wan would keep Heard in the role and assures that those concerned should note that she is less of a focus in the sequel, “I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go. The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We’ll leave it at that.”
Unfortunately, Wan would have to field more turbulence en route to the film’s release. It was reported that Wan had to oversee multiple rounds of reshoots due to poor test screenings. Wan clarifies that it was nothing out of the ordinary for a movie of this magnitude, “We have big actors in this movie, and everyone’s schedule is really hard. So, we had to break up our shooting schedule into sections. We’ll shoot a bit here now, because this actor’s available, and then we’ll do another shoot now, because this guy’s available. People are like, ‘Oh, they’re doing a whole bunch of different shoots!’ No. If we actually combined them all together, it’s actually not that many number of days at all.”
One of the new DC heads, Peter Safran, excitedly illustrated some of the tonal comparisons that Wan had bestowed in this film. With the new relationship being explored with Arthur and Orm, he says it gives off a 48 Hrs. vibe with the famous chemistry Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte once displayed. “They’re forced to work together, but they have no interest in being together. There is a humor in this movie that is far greater than even existed in the first.” The production designer, Bill Brzeski, added that Wan drew inspiration upon classic mythological films like Jason and the Argonauts and The Voyage of Sinbad, “James has turned this into his version of a Harryhausen movie. There are problems and issues a modern audience could relate to, but it’s got a great quest and monsters.”
Wan would also address the rumors of Affleck and Keaton making cameos in the film. “The tricky thing early on was not knowing whether Aquaman would come out first or come out after [The Flash]. So, we just had to be prepared. At the end of the day, the best thing I would say about this movie is that it is not connected in any way to any of those films. That’s the bottom line.”
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom swims into theaters on December 20.