Ladies and gentlemen, the next film in the DC Cinematic Universe is now officially in production. While Justice League and Wonder Woman somewhat overlapped production schedules last year, all’s been quiet for the last few months as Warner Bros. has worked to shore up scripts and talent for other future films like The Batman, Nightwing, and Dark Universe. Those films are still a ways off from actually beginning production, but now nearly two years after James Wan officially signed on to direct Aquaman, cameras are rolling on the superhero standalone film down in Australia.
Wan marked the occasion by sharing the first set photo, which you can see below. It appears they’re shooting on a submarine set for now, and the slate confirms the film’s production title Ahab. Wan was a curious choice to direct as his resume is mostly filled with horror films like Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring, but he proved he could handle a major blockbuster by steering the incredibly difficult production of Furious 7. He cleansed his palate a bit after that by going small-scale for The Conjuring 2 while he developed Aquaman, but now Wan is ready to bring the superhero to life.
Jason Momoa plays the titular character, who we first caught a glimpse of in Batman v Superman and who has a supporting role in this November’s Justice League. But Wan has filled out the cast nicely with Amber Heard as Mera, Nicole Kidman as Aquaman’s mother Queen Atlanta, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, and Patrick Wilson as the film’s primary villain, Aquaman’s half-brother Orm.
Wan is working with some interesting behind-the-scenes talent as well, including Robert Zemeckis’ frequent cinematographer Don Burgess whose credits range from Forrest Gump to Cast Away to Spider-Man, and who recently worked with Wan on The Conjuring 2. Wan also reunites with his Furious 7 production designer Bill Brzeski, and this is indeed one of the ways the DCEU separates itself from the MCU—most Marvel films have craftspeople who are well-versed in bringing other MCU movies to life, while Wan seems to have the freedom to choose basically whoever he wants as his DP, production designer, etc.