Aquaman underwater scenes

Your mileage may vary on whether you enjoyed Jason Momoa‘s cinematic interpretation of Aquaman in Warner Bros.’ Justice League, but even if you dug his portrayal, it’s not controversial to say that his limited time underwater in that film was a bit underwhelming. But don’t let that scare you off from the character’s upcoming solo movie: director James Wan has revealed that his Aquaman underwater scenes are going to be different than the air bubble approach we saw in Zack Snyder’s movie.

The Hollywood Reporter published an opinion piece talking about the way Justice League handled Mera (Amber Heard), a character who traditionally hails from an alternate dimension in the comics. But the movie – and by extension, Wan’s upcoming solo film – has changed her backstory, having her be adopted by Aquaman’s mother when Mera was a child. And after pointing out how Justice League overcame the problem of how to get characters to talk underwater by introducing the concept of Atlanteans being able to create air bubbles in which they can have normal conversations, the article wonders if Wan is using the same approach. It’s a legitimate question, since traditionally the DC cinematic universe movies have thus far stuck pretty closely to their established aesthetic.

But Wan took to Twitter to say that he has something else up his sleeve:

How exactly Wan intends to have his characters communicate underwater remains to be seen. We’re pretty sure he didn’t use underwater motion capture tech, because James Cameron and his team just invented that technology for the Avatar sequels, which are in production now.

Meanwhile, Aquaman star Jason Momoa commented to EW about his truncated appearance in Snyder’s new movie and how he has to deal with fan questions about his role:

“The challenging part is [the Justice League story] is only about a weekend in Author Curry’s life. [Fans] might be like, ‘Why is he that grumpy? Why’s he hiding up there?’ We had it all planned out. A lot of things got cut. But it’s not my movie. It’s a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and The Flash and Cyborg, there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in. It could have been two movies. We had some stuff with Willem Dafoe. The whole Atlantean part, about me being this reluctant king, there was no need for it because you’re going to see it in Aquaman. It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie.”

I guess “It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie” makes a certain amount of sense, but at the same time, I don’t think the excuse of “you’ll see more in the next movie!” is enough to excuse a halfhearted and abandoned exploration of a character. Either explain the character’s backstory or don’t, but what we saw in Justice League fell short. Great abs, though!

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