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James Wan Chose to Direct Aquaman Over a Flash Movie Because the Flash 'Had Been Done Before'

The undersea beings of Aquaman.
The undersea beings of Aquaman.
Image: Warner Bros

When James wan was approached by Warner Bros. to direct a DC movie, he was apparently given an option: Aquaman or the Flash. We know what he chose.


His reasoning, though, is pretty revealing of what Aquaman has shaped up to be. “I did grow up reading comics, but [Aquaman’s] weren’t the ones I read,” Wan told the New York Times recently. “Later, as I got older, it became apparent that people out there were making fun of him. Sure, he was somewhat disrespected and made the joke of the superhero world. But I always found him endearing.”

Then, when Warner Bros. offered Wan a choice of Aquaman and the Flash, he saw potential in the once-maligned hero.


“I felt the Flash had been done before. It had been on TV twice at that point. The one that had not been done was Aquaman. I realized, wow, his character resides in this crazy, big world, and I could do something very interesting with it,” Wan said. “I look up to people like Spielberg, Cameron, Lucas, John Carpenter. I’m a fan of genre filmmaking, naturally. So I thought I could make “Aquaman” a genre film, meaning a horror monster movie. DC basically said, yes, you can make Aquaman versus sea monsters if that’s what you want.”

The siren call (get it? Ocean stuff? I’m hilarious.) of putting an original stamp on a project is huge for any creator, and Wan has certainly gotten to put his own take on Aquaman, turning the hero into an underwater space opera hero in what sounds like a bright, wild adventure.

Aquaman comes out December 21st.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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I am the Lawr

DC basically said, yes, you can make Aquaman versus sea monsters if that’s what you want.””

I think this right here is the difference between Marvel and DC movies. Marvel are the Apple of superheroes, you know what you're getting, it's a safe bet but they're a little controlling. Which I guess makes DC the Android analogue, hey here's our IP, take it, do what ever you want with it. Sometimes that means you get a weird piece of crap, but every now and again you get Wonder Woman or an Aquaman, maybe even A Dark Knight.