Few modern directors have managed to combine auteur filmmaking with blockbuster sensibilities quite as efficiently as James Wan. Over the course of the last decade, he has proven himself more than capable of providing some of the best popcorn entertainment in recent memory. We’ve known for some time that he will soon be headed under the sea to bring Aquaman to life in his very own solo movie. However, we’ve also just learned that he almost took on an entirely different DCEU solo film altogether.
During a recent interview with Uproxx to promote the upcoming release of The Conjuring 2, James Wan revealed that he almost took on another DCEU film instead of Aquaman. He said:
It was, well, oh jeez, this would be a big tidbit: They asked me which of the two characters I’d be interested in and it was between The Flash and Aquaman. But the thing that ultimately pushed me more towards Aquaman is I love the possibility of creating a whole new world.
So it seems that the modern horror legend almost didn’t get a chance to take on Arthur Curry and the undersea world of Atlantis at all. At a certain point in the earlier stages of the DCEU, James Wan had the option to direct the first silver screen outing of Barry Allen a.k.a The Flash.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine James Wan getting behind the camera of The Flash’s solo movie. Given his exemplary work on Furious 7, we know that he has a knack for kinetic action sequences involving high speeds and irreverent sensibilities. That being said, it ultimately seems that he opted to take on the Aquaman solo film because it afforded him the opportunity to construct a beloved world as well as a beloved superhero. Let’s face it, Barry Allen lives in the somewhat normal world of Central City, but Aquaman lives in the vibrant undersea world of Atlantis; the choice was obvious for Wan.
Of course, James Wan’s decision to take on the Aquaman film did eventually leave The Flash’s solo movie in a somewhat tighter spot. Without him, DC hastily brought on the somewhat under qualified Seth Grahame-Smith, who recently departed the project. The Flash only recently got back on track with the addition of Dope director Rick Famuyiwa over the course of the last week.
At the end of the day we here at Cinema Blend think James Wan made the right call. Aquaman is arguably a harder sell than The Flash for mainstream audiences, and as such it takes a high-caliber filmmaker behind the camera to make that vision a reality. We will keep you posted with any and all details related to the Aquaman solo movie as they become available to us; the film will hit theaters on July 27, 2018.