Aquaman has been making waves all over the world on its way to a big domestic opening this weekend. Its financial performance comes as a surprise to those who believed the character was too whacky and cheesy for mainstream audiences. For James Wan, however, owning all of that crazy mythology was the only path to creative success.
“What makes Aquaman so enduring to me and to a lot of people is all the sort of weird and wonderful stuff in his world,” the director tells Batman News (via our sister site Superhero News). “I honestly felt like that would be a mistake if I was to lean away from that. That wouldn’t have been the movie I wanted to make.
“This is the movie that I wanted, to take all of the elements that people would make fun of and show it to them again and say, ‘Okay, you think that version’s funny, but have a look at this version because I believe there is a cool version of this.’”
Long-time fans of the comics are going to love just how much Aquaman Wan was able to fit into Aquaman. Arthur Curry, Mera, King Orm, Black Manta, the Trench, and many more are all in there. Wan is too superstitious to talk about a sequel, but he made sure to give moviegoers as much as one film could handle.
“Origin stories are always hard to do because you have to introduce so many different characters,” he explains. “I don’t think fans would have forgiven me if I made an Aquaman movie and not had Black Manta in it. But the main story should not be Black Manta. The main story should be about the Throne of Atlantis and therefore your antagonist would be King Orm.”
There actually were a few things Wan pulled back, but there was only so much he felt comfortable leaving on the cutting room floor. “I just felt like there were all these laws and mythology in the comic book that I wanted to get in there,” he adds, “but get in there in such a way that it helps build the hero’s journey. It’s a full meal, believe me, but I’d rather give you a full meal than just an appetizer.”
Aquaman is indeed a feast for the eyes that also includes a little food for the soul. Domestic audiences will be served this Thursday night.