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Jason Momoa in James Wan's Aquaman

We’ve known for a little bit that director James Wan’s next film wouldn’t be Aquaman 2 and last week we learned that he would be making a new horror movie before diving back in to the world of Atlantis. At the time, details were scarce about James Wan’s return to the genre where he made his name, but the director has now opened the door just a smidge. Taking to social media to reveal plans for his next horror movie, James Wan said:

There’s been a bit of speculation as to what my next project is… all I’ll say is, I’m super excited to go back to my indie roots with this hard-R thriller. An original horror idea (not a reboot/remake or anything based on existing IP) with old school, practical effects and no giant, blue screen sets.

After spending a long time working on the very expensive and CGI-driven Aquaman, James Wan is going in the complete opposite direction for his follow-up. As he explained on Facebook (via Bloody Disgusting), James Wan’s next movie, which remains untitled, will take the director back to his indie roots for a film that will utilize practical effects and not the CGI that dominates modern moviemaking.

James Wan sounds genuinely excited at the prospect of this indie, old school approach after working on Aquaman and it’s probably a great move for him to do this film before jumping back in to Aquaman 2, lest he get burnt out on that style of filmmaking. As far as the content of his next horror movie, James Wan kept things close to the vest, not revealing any plot details whatsoever, but he did confirm that it would be an original horror idea.

That rules out the director returning to his Conjuring Universe or secretly rebooting another horror property like A Nightmare on Elm Street. His upcoming film at New Line will be entirely original and not based on any existing IP, which is also in contrast to Aquaman and studio filmmaking in general these days, although original horror is still thriving.

In describing the project, James Wan called it both “an original horror idea” and a “hard-R thriller.” Horror and thriller aren’t always the same thing but the two can overlap and the thriller side of things is intriguing and makes me think this could be something scary but also very psychological from the director, but that’s just speculation.

What is clear is that even before his next horror film begins principal photography, James Wan is aiming to make a hard-R movie. From the director of Saw, that news is sure to excite horror fans. James Wan is co-writing the script for his new movie with Ingrid Bisu and it is expected to begin filming in Los Angeles this fall.

We don’t yet know if James Wan will definitively return to the director’s chair for Aquaman 2, but after the success of the first movie, fans and Warner Bros. surely want him too. Doing a smaller horror film sounds like the exact kind of thing to refresh the director should he choose to return for that sequel. Either way, we get a new entry in the horror genre from the director that brought us Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring Universe.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about James Wan’s new horror movie. In the meantime, check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this fall.

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