The Aquaman Movie Uses Water, But Not Nearly As Much As You Think

Jason Momoa in Aquaman

You can't make an Aquaman movie without using a ton of water. Right? This was something I paid very close attention to on a second viewing of James Wan's Aquaman. For while the bulk of the action is set underwater, there's far less water involved in the making of the movie as one might have originally believed. CinemaBlend brought this up with the film's cast during a recent Aquaman press day, and learned the following:

The consensus from the Aquaman actors is that very little water was actually involved in the shooting of the film. They all explained how it's impossible to actually film in water, and that the only way to get water to properly show up on screen in an image is for the subject to be soaking wet.

And that doesn't lend well to performing.

So, the alternate was wire-work, which allowed characters played by Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren and more to "float" in water as they interact, and fight, and it looks extremely credible.

In fact, during that second viewing of Aquaman, I spent so much time looking at how CGI wizards made hair "float" on screen. It's amazing.

That doesn't mean that Aquaman didn't use any water whatsoever. You can tell in several important scenes that gallons of water were used to lend authenticity to the surroundings, as Arthur Curry's environment is supposed to be all about water. James Wan assured CinemaBlend:

There were quite a few scenes, like for example the opening submarine action sequence, that had to be real water. We would build the submarine set over this huge tank with massive hydraulics. We would sink the set into the water, bring it up, take two, do it again, and we just kept doing take after take. So we did get pretty wet in the making of this film.

To me, this aspect of Aquaman was the most compelling. If you can't convince us, visually, that the action is taking place underwater, then the movie kind of fails. Technology has improved drastically even from when Jason Momoa had to fight Steppenwolf underwater in Justice League. And most of that credit has to go to James Wan.

Aquaman is cleaning up in international theaters already, and is making its way to theaters in the States on December 21. I wish you guys didn't have to wait that long. It's so much fun, and is a fantastic step in the right direction for DC. Our full review is here. And for more on the DCEU, in general, bookmark our Portal Page and visit it often.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.