Aquaman is the next massive comic book movie in-line for 2018, and while almost every superhero film of the last few years has at least featured two major characters in its story, the director of Aquaman that his film will officially break that trend. That’s right folks, start losing your s**t as Arthur Curry will be facing off against his half-brother King Orm and eventual arch nemesis Black Manta with the help of just with a few loyal followers surrounding him and no newly found team members from the surface world.
It’s now the back-half of the year, which means Aquaman will be starting to be in the conversation a lot more through the coming weeks and months. That has obviously started now, as director James Wan recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to explain his reasoning behind keeping it an Aquaman centric story:
“I wanted to keep the story to the world of Aquaman and not have to worry about what other characters are doing in their films and how that would affect us. I just thought the simplest way was to keep it clean — keep it simple and let it be an Aquaman story.”
But before he could actually pull this move off, he had to run by the head honchos as Warner Bros., and Wan explains how the studio was respectful of his decision:
“I told them I understand and respect that it’s part of a bigger universe but at the end of the day I have to tell the story I want to tell, and I want to develop the character as well. “It was something the studio was respectful about … .in my movie he starts off one way and becomes very different by the end. It’s a classic hero’s journey. I equate our story to The Sword and the Stone, it’s a very Arthurian story about a journey to becoming king.”
Honestly, this really shouldn’t be a story. I shouldn’t be writing about this right now because this is exactly what every standalone comic book movie should be like. But sadly, with a word full of cinematic universes and more than just a handful of characters, it’s nearly impossible to see this done. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love seeing a team-up between Captain America and Black Widow, Thor and Hulk or Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but that doesn’t always have to happen. They can just be cut out entirely or turned into name drops or small sentences that remind us, the audience, that it does operate within this world.
There’s also another side of it. There’s been plenty of occasions where directors have, “beat around the bush” when it comes to topics like this. Their goal is obviously to keep things a secret, which is incredibly hard these days. I don’t see Wan as a director that would do that to this extent, especially since it seems like Aquaman is legitimately centered on him and him only. But it would be nice every once in a while if news outlets would keep that question out of the equation and allow a movie to surprise us all. Could you imagine if this never came up, we all went to go see the film and were surprised by a cameo from Batman or The Flash? It would be epic, but sadly, we now function in a world where that’ll never happen.
What do you think of Wan’s comments? Do you like that no other major Justice League members will appear in the film? If anyone did, who would you want to see? Do you like team-ups / cameos or would you rather complete standalone stories? Fire off in the comments below! Wan’s Aquaman swims into theaters on December 21st.