Pre-Trailer Interview Sheds Light on Film’s Production Challenges and Future
September 14, 2023.
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In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, director James Wan discusses the highly anticipated sequel, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which is set to release its official trailer on September 14th. Wan delves into the rumors and challenges that have surrounded the film’s production, offering insight into its connection to the larger DC Universe.
Los Angeles, CA – As excitement mounts for the unveiling of the official trailer for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” director James Wan sits down with Entertainment Weekly to address various speculations surrounding the DC sequel. The film has been plagued by reports of a turbulent post-production phase, including three rounds of reshoots, while navigating changes in leadership at DC Studios, now overseen by James Gunn and Peter Safran. These co-CEOs are steering the DC Universe in a new direction, distinct from the one originally envisioned for “Aquaman 2”.
“The tricky thing early on was not knowing whether ‘Aquaman’ would come out first or come out after ‘The Flash’,” Wan revealed. “So, we just had to be prepared. At the end of the day, the best thing I would say about this movie is that it is not connected in any way to any of those films. That’s the bottom line”.
Reports had suggested that actors like Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, known for their roles as Batman, participated in “Aquaman 2” reshoots while also appearing in “The Flash”. When questioned about the necessity of Batman’s involvement, Wan remained tight-lipped, responding with a cryptic, “That’s a ‘no comment’ right now. You’re going to have to wait for the movie to come out”.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Gunn may have provided input on the “Aquaman” sequel now that he’s in charge of DC Studios. Wan acknowledged their history, stating, “I’ve known James since way back, right? We’re horror guys, and so I’m definitely open to ideas. But, at the end of the day, this is my movie”.
Wan emphasized that the reshoots for “Aquaman 2” were not out of the ordinary for a major Hollywood blockbuster. “We have big actors in this movie, and everyone’s schedule is really hard”, he explained. “So, we had to break up our shooting schedule into sections. We’ll shoot a bit here now, because this actor’s available, and then we’ll do another shoot now, because this guy’s available. People are like, ‘Oh, they’re doing a whole bunch of different shoots!’ No. If we actually combined them all together, it’s actually not that many number of days at all”.
Questions also arose regarding Amber Heard, who portrays Mera in the film franchise. In her 2022 defamation trial involving Johnny Depp, Heard claimed Warner Bros. had reduced her role in the “Aquaman” sequel due to the fallout from her divorce. She asserted that action scenes were removed, and her role was scaled back.
Wan, however, clarified that the sequel was never intended to focus on Mera and Aquaman as the first film did in 2018. “I always pitched this to everyone from the get-go”, Wan stated. “The first ‘Aquaman’ was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So, the first was a romance action-adventure movie, the second one is a bromance action-adventure movie. We’ll leave it at that”.
Regarding the potential for a third “Aquaman” movie, Wan confirmed, “We’ve set up certain things in a good place in the second movie that you can definitely draw upon in a third”. However, he emphasized that he currently has no plans or stories for “Aquaman 3”. When asked if he would direct it, Wan remained uncertain, stating, “I don’t know. This film has taken up so, so much of my life, so much of my time, all I can think about now is taking a long break”.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is slated to make its theatrical debut on December 20th, 2023, courtesy of Warner Bros.