Jason Momoa reprised his role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in his first-ever
solo movie of the eponymous title.
Mention the name "James Wan" and the first thing that quickly comes to mind is his association with the horror genre. Besides, this is what he's primarily known for. And even if he did venture out of his comfort zone with "Fast & Furious 7" back in 2015, Wan's true expertise still lies with horror movies. But all of that is bound to change with "Aquaman". Here are the 10 things you should know about this upcoming DC superhero movie.
1) This is a post-"Justice League" movie
Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) in a scene from "Aquaman".
Suffice to say, this first-ever solo "Aquaman" movie takes place after the events of last year's "Justice League". While it will acknowledge the aforementioned event, the movie is pretty much a standalone effort that also tells an origin story of how Arthur Curry has become the person he is.
2) The movie features not one, but two antagonists
Patrick Wilson plays the antagonist role as Orm in "Aquaman".
No superhero movie would be complete without an antagonist in sight. The same case applies to "Aquaman", where Arthur Curry will face two different antagonists over the course of the movie. One is his half-brother Orm played by Patrick Wilson and another one is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta.
3) Jason Momoa will don the classic Aquaman costume
Jason Momoa dons the classic costume in "Aquaman".
From Jason Momoa's brief cameo in "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice" to his supporting role in last year's "Justice League", he has mainly appeared in a dark armoured suit. But fans of Aquaman comic books can finally rejoice as Jason Momoa will be donning the classic costume that has become synonymous with his character. Rest assured it's not the same bright colour some of you have seen in that cheesy "Super Friends" cartoon series, but one that is toned down and that brings a subtle combination of retro and modern look.
4) There will be a horror element in this movie
One of the horror moments involving the Trench in "Aquaman".
Despite the fact that "Aquaman" is essentially a superhero movie through and through, director James Wan hasn't abandoned his horror roots completely. Needless to say, expect some horror moments involving the terrifying Trench creatures. This gives the otherwise straightforward superhero movie a fresh angle with James Wan incorporating his trademark scares.
5) The movie also pays tribute to a classic swashbuckling genre
Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) in a scene from "Aquaman".
Apparently, James Wan likes to mix things up. Other than incorporating the wonder of a superhero genre with his trademark horror sensibilities, "Aquaman" is also an adventure movie. According to Peter Safran, who is one of the producers, the movie inspires classic like-minded movies such as "Indiana Jones" and even "Romancing The Stone", in which Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Amber Heard's Mera is akin to Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner's love-hate relationship.
6) Expect lots of nifty camera movements
One of the action sequences in "Aquaman".
Sure, James Wan may have resorted to a good amount of shaky-cam moments in the otherwise financially-successful "Fast & Furious 7", but "Aquaman" will feature the director's original signature camera moves and even utilises a lot of long takes similar to what he did in the first two "Conjuring" movies. That means you get to fully immerse in the choreography of the action sequences minus all the nauseating moments of a shaky-cam aesthetic.
7) It won't be as dark as other DCEU movies
Jason Momoa and Amber Heard in a scene from "Aquaman".
In short, "Aquaman" will be considerably lighter in tone. This also means that it won't be the kind of grim and gloomy DCEU movie previously seen in Zack Snyder-directed "Man Of Steel" and "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice", which actually makes more sense, given the nature of Aquaman's character and the source material itself. Here is what James Wan himself has to say during an interview with Gamespot:
8) The female characters are not damsels in distress
"In pop culture, he's known as the lamest superhero. And so you've gotta lean into that. You've gotta play into that. You've gotta have fun with it, right? Like yes, he rides seahorses, but in our movie, it's a different kind of -- you wouldn't be laughing at a seahorse like that. And so I think I just wanted to embrace what people think is goofy and potentially campy about this world, and really make it fun and adventurous in a cool way."
Amber Heard plays Mera in "Aquaman".
"Aquaman" might be a testosterone-driven superhero movie led by the hulking Jason Momoa in the title role, but this isn't a movie specifically catered for the male crowds. The female characters are also given the same equalities, meaning you will see Amber Heard's Mera and even Nicole Kidman, who plays Arthur's mother Queen Atlanna, get to strut their stuff in the action department.
9) Surprisingly, none of the scenes is shot underwater
One of the "underwater" scenes in "Aquaman".
You would think that a big-budget superhero movie like "Aquaman", which mainly takes place underwater would literally involve lots and lots of water, but according to James Wan via Gamespot, every sequence is shot using the "dry for wet" method -- a common filmmaking technique used to make the actors look as if they are underwater but actually filmed in a dry stage and later added with special effects in post-production. Wan even goes further by explaining why he has to choose the "dry for wet" method to accomplish the underwater scene:
10) Julie Andrews lends her voice to this movie
"It's very difficult trying to simulate the look of weightlessness that you would get underwater, but we did tons of R&D (research & development) early on of how people would move underwater. We built props, we built sets, and we submerged everything underwater, and we did tons of study just to see what things would look like..."
Legendary British actress Julie Andrews provides her voice
as the mythic Karathen.
Yes, that Julie Andrews. The legendary British actress who defined the older generation with her memorable roles in "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound Of Music" while the current generation would probably remember her acting alongside Anne Hathaway in the two "Princess Diaries" movies as well as providing voice performances in the "Shrek" sequels as Queen Lillian. In "Aquaman", she will voice the mythic Karathen, a fearsome underwater creature that is pivotal to Arthur Curry's quest to unite the seven kingdoms of the sea.
Cinema Online, 11 December 2018