James Wan Says Aquaman Is The Wolverine Of The DC Universe

Right now, Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is in the hands of Zack Snyder. The director established the character in the DC Universe with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but once he's finished with Justice League, Aquaman goes to James Wan (The Conjuring 2). Wan sees the character as a "reluctant superhero" who's not too dissimilar from Wolverine.

Below, James Wan discusses Aquaman.

Aquaman is scheduled to open in theaters in less than two years. Obviously, since it's still a while away, James Wan can't say too much about the comic book movie. He can't confirm, for example, if Black Manta is the film's villain, but there's little harm in talking about the titular character's place in the world. Speaking with IGN, Wan tells the outlet Aquaman is an outsider who, in some ways, reminds him of Wolverine:

I actually think it's a brilliant move on Zack and co. to cast someone like Jason. Immediately, the whole joke aspect of Aquaman goes out the window. You have such a muscular, superhero-y character and one that is almost, to me, in some ways... I look at him, he's kind of the Wolverine in some respect. He's the outsider who gets pulled into this world and he kind of doesn't want to belong and he was doing his own thing. And he prided freedom above everything else. That kind of plays nicely into who his character is. He's like a reluctant superhero, right? He's the reluctant king, basically, or would-be king.

When questioned how this would-be king will communicate underwater, Wan responds:

I love the idea of underwater speaking but with a real sort of sonic, aquatic quality to it. So there's this sort of aquatic, almost sonar/whale thing. Even though it's in a human language, there's this slight sort of underlay to it, this ping to it, which I think would be interesting for us to design from a sound design perspective. Yeah, it will be fun. Also, Zack has some ideas that he'll be doing in Justice League.

Since Zack Snyder is the first director to get to depict Aquaman on the big screen, Wan will have an opportunity to see what about the character works best before making his film:

Listen, I'll be honest, in some ways, JL will be an experiment for me to see what works and what may not work as well. And then kind of go, okay... Here's the great thing, with all these superhero movies, you watch from one movie to another, and they always sort of slightly change things along the way. You kind of have to do that to make what's best for your film.

Wan goes on to say he's possibly the most inspired by Geoff Johns' take on Aquaman. The director believes Johns — who's the co-lead of the DC Films Division at Warner Bros. — took a character some people see as "the joke of the superhero" and made him "made him frickin' cool again." According to Wan, Johns' (New 52) Aquaman stories are his "leaping off point."

Aquaman opens in theaters July 27th, 2018.