Aquaman is set to introduce audiences to a whole new corner of the DC Extended Universe, and it looks like it will be spending quite a lot of time there.
In a recent interview with Wired, Aquaman director James Wan was asked how much of his film takes place underwater. And as he explained, a good chunk of the film will be centered around the seven underwater kingdoms, for a narrative reason.
“The world that I take my characters into is so different from the worlds that the other heroes live in. They live in the DC universe, but this is not Gotham City. This isn’t Metropolis. You’re going to all these different underwater kingdoms, where these races have spent their whole lives hiding themselves from the surface-world civilization. I would say maybe two-thirds or half of the film [is underwater]. It’s a journey movie, so it goes down and up and down. The audience might get a little claustrophobic otherwise; you have to come up for air.”
For some – especially those who disliked how Justice League represented DC’s underwater world – this will probably be a relief. And judging by early quotes from Wan, it sounds like the goal was to represent Atlantis and the other kingdoms in a nuanced way.
“I didn’t set out to make a horror movie,” Wan told reporters during a set visit last year. “That’s not what this is about. It just so happens that you’re dealing in a world that is beautiful, magical, but at the same time, you know, scary as well. People are terrified of the ocean because they don’t know what’s down there. There’s all these creatures that live down in the ocean that are dangerous to humans.”
“I feel like the good thing about having something that isn’t really established is I get the opportunity to kind of set the world, set the tone, and set the flavor for who this guy is, and the world that he lives in,” Wan added. “That’s what we love about superheroes, right? We love that they represent the best part of who we want to be, right? What we strive for, and what we aspire to be. And I think what I liked most about this character, and actually what Jason Momoa brings to it, is the idea that this is a guy who’s kind of trapped between two worlds. He doesn’t feel like he belonged in the surface world, but he doesn’t feel like he belongs in the world of Atlantis as well, the underwater world.”