It’s official, folks. Fresh off the insane success of Furious 7, which is now eyeballing the #3 slot on the highest grossing films of all-time chart, Warner Bros. announced today that The Conjuring helmer James Wan has closed his deal to develop and direct Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa as the DC Comics character. Moreover, Wan has also agreed to direct Sony’s Robotech movie.
Wan was first mentioned in connection with Aquaman back in April, and when Steve interviewed him for Furious 7 he seemed enthused about the prospect of tackling a big superhero movie. He is currently in pre-production on The Conjuring 2, which starts filming this fall for a 2016 release, but revealed to us that he would be using his time on the horror sequel to pin down his next “big project”.
And indeed Aquaman is a big project, as Wan will attempt to bring the story of the reluctant ruler of Atlantis into the grounded and gritty DC Movie Universe fold. Though from what we’ve seen of Suicide Squad, it appears that Warner Bros. is venturing further into “comic book-y” territory than many previously anticipated. DC’s press release describes the Aquaman movie thusly:
An icon for over 70 years, Aquaman is the King of the Seven Seas. This reluctant ruler of Atlantis, caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt, is committed to protecting the entire globe.
The character, as played by Momoa, will first appear in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before his own feature drops in 2018. Wan will oversee the writing of the film’s script by Kurt Johnstad (300: Rise of an Empire), and his hiring not only makes sense from a connection standpoint–Wan’s horror opus The Conjuring made a ton of dough for WB and the studio was happy to have him return for the sequel–but also with regards to the studio’s outlook on its DC Movie Universe. As outlined earlier today by executive Greg Silverman, the studio aims to court “master filmmakers” to craft their own takes on these various superhero properties, and Wan has honed his craft over the years since his huge debut with Saw. On this April’s Furious 7, he proved that he can handle action and weather intense and difficult productions, so Aquaman feels like a logical next step.
Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, and Charles Roven will produce Aquaman, with Roven adding this about Wan’s hiring:
“James is not only a great storyteller but can make action truly explode on the big screen, and Jason has a dynamic presence that commands your attention. Together, they will bring an undeniable vitality and energy to this character as he headlines his first feature film.”
But Aquaman isn’t the only film Wan is signing on to post-Furious 7, as THR adds that he has also closed his deal to helm Sony’s Robotech movie based on the 1980s anime. With Wan not being free until next spring, after he completes The Conjuring 2, and with Aquaman already having a 2018 release date, one imagines the superhero pic will be first on deck.
So WB now has Snyder, Wan, Patty Jenkins, and David Ayer on tap as the filmmakers crafting its DC Movie Universe, with hopes that Phil Lord and Chris Miller decide to helm The Flash. What other directors would you like to see take a crack at a DC property? Sound off in the comments below.