James Wan Wanted ‘Aquaman’ to be “Classic Action-Fantasy”

Filmmaker James Wan went into Warner Bros. Pictures feature film Aquaman with a desire to present the much-maligned hero in a more….heroic light. The fish-talkin’ JLA member has always been the butt of countless jokes about talking to whales, getting caught in plastic soda rings, etc.

Thankfully for fans of Aquaman, Wan’s vision does exactly that. Part live-action Atlantis: The Lost Empire, part technicolor comic book come to life, the resulting film starring Jason Momoa in the titular role is enjoyable and worth watching in the theater.

In a recent interview with our friend Jordan Hoffman for AMNY.com, Wan spoke a bit about Aquaman compared to other superhero films, Atlantean dry-cleaning, and practical in-camera effects:

AMNY: This superhero movie feels different.

James Wan: That was the goal, to avoid the current style and make a more classic action-fantasy. Aquaman is less familiar of a character, but we cut as much of the origin story as possible. It takes fine tuning; nobody likes movies that are too long.
AMNY: A lot of these costumes looked like real, tactile costumes, not CGI.

WAN: My background is low-budget horror. We do things practical and “in camera” as much as possible, then use digital tools after. We had an army of designers. I’ve long wanted to build a visual world from the nuts and bolts. It looks cool, but not comfortable to wear. Especially in the rigs that make the actors appear as if they were floating underwater.

AMNY: For people less familiar with the lore: Is there dry cleaning on Atlantis? How do they do their laundry?

WAN: They are so technologically advanced, it’s hard to say. Maybe there is wet cleaning?

The only real complaint we had about Aquaman was not as many fish puns as we were lead to believe.

The film is currently playing in theaters now, and enjoying the top spot at the box office.

About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool.


Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always).

Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence.

Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional

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