How The Big DC Behind-The-Scenes Shake-Up Is Affecting Aquaman And James Wan

In the last month or so, we’ve heard multiple reports about things changing up behind the scenes of the DC Extended Universe. Specifically, we’ve learned that there have been some key shifts with personnel directing the future of the franchise, with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns given the responsibility of guiding the future of the movies. You’d think that happenings like this would have some kind of effect on the various projects that are currently in development, but according to Aquaman director James Wan, a lot of it is being blown out of proportion.

I spoke with James Wan about the goings-on behind the scenes of the DC Extended Universe during my one-on-one interview with him this past weekend at the Los Angeles press day for The Conjuring 2, and he explained that what’s been going on hasn’t exactly turned the system on its ear. Instead, more than anything he is just happy that Goeff Johns is taking on a more significant role, given that his work on Aquaman comics is influencing what’s going on with the big screen version played by Jason Momoa. Said Wan,

To be honest, it’s not as dramatic as the press is making it out to be – from what I’m seeing. And right now I’m seeing everything as more an outsider looking into this box. So from that perspective, it’s really cool that it’s not crazy, crazy dramatic. I think it’s great. Geoff Johns is super talented, super smart. Part of what got me excited about the Aquaman character is his re-envisioning of Aquaman, the character, with The New 52. And that’s super exciting. And I’m working very closely with him, and I want to work with him very closely to shape the story that I want to tell.

James Wan also jokingly added that whatever the “shake-ups” are behind the scenes in the DC Extended Universe, he hasn’t really been seeing them. It’s partially because he’s been so committed recently to finishing up work on The Conjuring 2 and getting it ready for release, but it’s also because most of what he’s heard about the developments has come from the press and trade reports rather than insiders. Said the filmmaker,

Whatever these “shake-ups” are, I don’t actually see them. If anything, like anything to do with my fricking career, I read about them in the trades, I read them all over the internet! And people are asking me this and I’m like, ‘Huh? What?’ [laughs] Just like I found out all these things. And so I’m not privy to necessarily what’s going – partially because I was so busy with trying to finish up Conjuring 2.

When you think about it, it does make sense that Aquaman hasn’t been greatly affected by the moves being made recently, if not just because there are more pressing projects to deal with first. In addition to Suicide Squad, which is entering the final stretch of the production process, Wonder Woman, Justice League and The Flash are all in the development line in front of James Wan’s summer 2018 blockbuster, and as a result are surely being closer looked at and changed to a more advanced degree. How the changes will eventually trickle down to Aquaman we’ll just have to wait and see.

Aquaman likely won’t be starting filming until 2017, but if you’re in need of some great James Wan filmmaking, be sure to check out The Conjuring 2 in theaters this Friday, June 10th. And stay tuned for more from our interview with the director!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.