Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: James Wan talks about the sequel’s place in the big picture of the DC universe amid the regime change

James Wan’s big blockbusters have had less smooth productions than his smaller horror films. Aquaman 2 is a huge undertaking.

While The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have been on the dock for a while, the two films will finally get their releases this year. Jason Momoa has already claimed part of the summer, as he was unanimously praised for amping up the energy of Fast X with his outrageous Dante Reyes character. The Hollywood Reporter sits down with another Fast and Furious series alum and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom‘s director, James Wan. Wan talks about where he feels the movie fits in the DC universe as it changes around him.

With the sequel being a big task to tackle in its own right, in the middle of things, the DC universe would be changing hands with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over and regrouping the film brand. Wan was asked what kind of adjustments he made as the film proceeded with everything switching over.

Wan would explain, “I’ve had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what’s going on. Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We’re going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what’s happening with the other movies and characters, so we’re stand-alone in that respect. So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what’s been happening.”

As long as the movie has been in production (filming commenced in June of 2021), the film is still not going to be released until late this year. Meanwhile, Wan gives an update on post-production. “I hope to finish it up soon-ish. We have the DGA thing [contract negotiations] coming up next month, and so there’s just some stuff that we have to finish. It’s a big movie. It has a lot of visual effects and moving parts, but we’re moving in that direction, and I cannot wait for people to see it. I think people are going to be excited to see that this movie is quite different from the first movie in terms of tone. It’s a little bit more serious, and we’re dealing with issues like climate change. We’re not afraid to lean into that in a big way, because the Aquaman comic book, even way back when, has always been environmentally conscious. He’s always been someone who’s fought to keep the ocean clean, and it feels more relevant in the world that we’re living in today. So this movie has something to talk about, but it’s still a fun action-fantasy movie.”

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