Digital effects have come a long way in recent years, and filmmakers can do quite a lot in post-production. That said, for many fans and industry insiders, there's still no complete substitute for old-fashioned practical effects. That debate is something that has popped up through the development of Aquaman, and it turns out that director James Wan is embracing the best of both worlds by augmenting practical makeup and costuming with some CGI wizardry. Explaining the process on social media, The Conjuring director wrote:
So, like many entries in the DCEU canon (and the superhero genre in general), Aquaman will feature heavy use of CGI to create the characters in the world. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and it seems that Wan and his team are not solely relying on computers to create the undersea realm of Atlantis. With that in mind, the film will also incorporate practical makeup effects to create the look and feel of the beings who inhabit that world, with computers creating room to enhance the makeup designs and environments.
James Wan's post about the blending of practical effects with computer-generated visual effects is only the latest in a series of updates that we have received about how the undersea landscape of Aquaman will come together when all is said and done. Much has already been said about the sheer amount of groundbreaking tech that the movie is using, but it looks like there's still an awareness that certain practical visual elements still work better than going purely digital.
All of this comes together to remind us that Aquaman is arguably unlike anything that we have seen from the DCEU before. Even though we got brief glimpses of Atlantis during the events of Justice League, everything that we have heard about Aquaman seems to suggest that the movie is going to give us a very alien world at the bottom of the ocean as Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry embarks on his first-ever solo adventure. Exact plot details remain under wraps, but with the promise of impressive effects, badass villains like Black Manta and Ocean Master, and Atlantean soldiers riding sharks, I think it's safe to say that we're incredibly excited to see what Aquaman has in store.
James Wan's Aquaman will premiere in theaters later this year on December 21, but if you are looking for a first-look at some of the blendings of practical and CGI effects, then make sure to keep an eye out for the first official Aquaman trailer this coming weekend when DC takes the stage at San Diego Comic-Con. Looking beyond the next DCEU film, you can also take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide to get more information on everything else that's coming this year!