‘Aquaman’ Director Reveals Why Sequel Will Be A Comedy

in DC, Movies

aquaman-director-comedy

Credit: ITM

Since the regime change at Warner Bros. Discovery, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been put through a crucible of drama that resulted in constant delays. Whether it was the reshoots, bad test screenings, or the infamous court case scandal, the new direction for DC Studios eventually made this sequel the “swan song” to the DC Extended Universe or DCEU. It seems that this definitive end to a once-billion-dollar franchise has emboldened its director to turn its action-adventure comic book movie into a comedy.

Aquaman (Jason Momoa) laughing
Credit: Warner Bros.

The latest trailer for the Lost Kingdom has sold fans a different story with a more dramatic tone. It did present lighthearted aspects like Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) becoming a father (assumedly with Mera (Amber Heard)) who struggles to balance his life as a father, half-human, and King of Atlantis. Yet, the tone quickly changed with the return of Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Matteen) as he has obtained an ancient relic that has given him the ability to destroy Aquaman and his people.

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Credit: Warner Bros.

This new conflict will set up the main character arcs for Arthur and his estranged imprisoned brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson). Their reunion is an unwanted one as the new King seeks the help of the former ruler to save their people from Manta’s wrath. The team-up will be the main focus of the story according to director, James Wan. He stated that the movie will be a “love story at its heart between the two brothers, between Arthur and Orm.”

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Wan made a name for himself as a prolific horror director. He built a renowned reputation with projects like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Saw. Aquaman was an opportunity to break away from horror to excel in other genres. The talented filmmaker has revealed that his original pitch to Warner Bros. was to make an action-adventure comic book movie meets romantic comedy. He drew inspiration from Michael Douglas’ classic romantic comedy, Romancing the Stone.

romancing-the-stone
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The director’s affinity for 80’s comedies did not stop with the first Aquaman as he has divulged, “The second would be an outright buddy comedy. I wanted to do Tango & Cash!” Wan continued, ” Jason plays Arthur larger-than-life; Patrick plays the straight man. It’s not unlike what Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones did in Men in Black.”

men-in-black
Credit: Columbia Pictures

While it is common for comic book movies to meld other genres to be more dynamic, “buddy comedies” can be a gamble. Marvel found some success utilizing this genre type in Thor: Ragnarok and Hawkeye, but the DCEU has never attempted to hybridize this genre due to the more serious Zack Snyder-led tone of this universe.

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Credit: ITM

The newly assembled DC Universe (DCU) has already been primed to replace the DCEU.  DC Studios co-chief, James Gunn, originally considered carrying over some popular DCEU heroes. Aquaman was speculated to be at the top of the list since the first movie raked in over $1 billion. Unfortunately, DCU’s “soft open” has been off to a bumpy start. The Flash had an abysmal run at the box office and Blue Beetle generated critical acclaim, but did not amass blockbuster-like numbers.

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Credit: ITM

This poor audience turnout has all but confirmed that the Lost Kingdom will be the last voyage for Momoa as Arthur Curry. Despite the constant delays and the ever-growing “superhero fatigue,” Wan and Warner Bros. are hoping that this standalone superhero buddy comedy will be the last triumph for the King of the Seven Seas.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to be released December 20, 2023.

Are you excited for the new Aquaman? Do you think making the sequel a “buddy comedy” will hurt or help the film?

in DC, Movies

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