Aquaman has been surrounded by many questions. With the underperformance of Justice League and many fans losing hope in the DCEU, it appeared Warner Bros. and DC had a lame duck on their hands. According to the early Aquaman reactions, however, it seems like this is just another lesson in why you don’t bet against James Wan. Apparently, the filmmaker who bought us Saw and The Conjuring has once again delivered a great one, with one critic even stating that this is “the best Marvel movie that DC has made.”
I’ll take some heat for this, but #Aquaman is the best Marvel movie that DC has made. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly like that formula, but it feels like a film that knows what it is, what it’s selling and who it’s selling to. There’s no identity crisis here.
— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) November 26, 2018
While I haven’t seen the film yet, I have to imagine that’s taking things a bit too far. The last several DC films have by and large been the product of one director’s vision that clashed with several film executives’ bottom line. Yes, Ayer and Jenkins were auteurs in their own right, but they had to serve a specific studio-driven plan. It sounds as though Wan used some of the capital he had generated through his horror hits to once again craft something that is his own. When watching Justice League, it would be easy to assume that those tones would transfer over to the next film. Instead, when you watch the trailers for Aquaman, you see a film that is bright and colorful while still seemingly in keeping with the portrayal of Aquaman Momoa had established in the aforementioned DC team-up movie. The only downside in this (aside from no mention of a Vincent Chase cameo) is how little we’ll be able to attribute this success to new DC head Walter Hamada, who came aboard in January 2018 with Aquaman already finished with production. While I’m sure Hamada may have thrown in his two cents during the post-production process, given the history he and Wan share I have no doubt he trusts the filmmaker to present a fantastic experience for the audience.
Are these early Aquaman reactions giving you hope for a changing tide in the Worlds of DC franchise? Let us know in the comments!