Aquaman director

James Wan presented a panel on this summer’s horror sequel The Conjuring 2 at Wondercon. Afterwards, /Film joined other journalists on a press line to speak with Wan. Being at a comic book convention, every journalist had their own question about Wan directing the solo Aquaman movie and Wan was gracious about answering every one. For us, he revealed that the world of Aquaman is inspiring some of his horror sensibilities. Think sea monsters! 

“I think, like most people, we are familiar with Aquaman,” Wan said. “We grew up reading or watching this character on the peripheral. I was never so in depth with Aquaman as, let’s say, I was with X-Men. I grew up loving X-Men, Spider-Man and Batman. Those are obviously the key big ones, but there’s always something kind of cool about Aquaman still, the idea of creating a huge world that is on our planet. That’s the thing about Aquaman that’s cool is he’s not an alien, right? He’s from our planet and he’s from a society that we’re not privy to in the context of the story. Isn’t it crazy to think that we’ve explored space more than we have explored the depths of our ocean? That just fires up my imagination about potential sea monsters and cool creatures, that kind of stuff.”

Fans got their first glimpse of Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman in a Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Easter egg scene. Momoa’s casting, and his solo movie, were announced before this weekend’s team-up film was completed.

While waiting our turn, we did hear all of Wan’s Aquaman talk down the line. Here are some other tidbits we picked up:

Though Warner Bros.’ Justice League universe has been established as dark and gritty, Wan told reporters that anything he does will still have a sense of fun.

Wan likes to describe his big studio movies, like Furious 7 and Aquaman, as playing in someone else’s sandbox, but he can still create his own castle.

Wan consideres Aquaman the underdog superhero, that people pick on him and make fun of him (think Entourage). He has the chance to break people’s expectations.

Wan likes that Aquaman is a fresh character who’s never been done in a movie before, as opposed to, say, Batman, Superman or Spider-Man.

As a fan of world creation, Aquaman gives Wan a chance to create a new world (see his quote above about the world beneath the depths of our own planet).

Regarding the technical challenge, Wan expects Aquaman to be “a motherfucker” to shoot, but he will apply the same mentality he uses on low budget films. First and foremost, you have to create cool characters.

Wan is also attached to direct a new MacGyver pilot, to focus on a MacGyver in his 20s working in a clandestine organization. We asked Wan if the series would focus on how MacGyver learned his unique scientific tricks to get out of tough scrapes, and Wan became a tad more tight-lipped.

“It is about who this guy becomes, yeah,” Wan said.

We’ll have more with Wan on The Conjuring 2 from Wondercon here at /Film. The Conjuring 2 opens June 10, 2016 and Aquaman arrives July 27, 2018.

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