James Wan Explains Why ‘Aquaman’ Reshoots Are Nothing to Worry About

     April 17, 2018

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Filmmaker James Wan has taken to Twitter to qualm fears that his DC movie Aquaman might be in trouble. Fan fears were intensified recently when Wan revealed that additional filming on Aquaman was underway after wrapping principal photography last year. But it wasn’t the mere mention of Aquaman reshoots that got fans worried, it was the revelation that Randall Park was being added to the film as Dr. Stephen Shin during these pickups.

Understandably fans had reason to be worried given recent Warner Bros. history. Justice League underwent very public and very extensive reshoots, which were overseen by an entirely different director, and in the finished film the blend between Zack Snyder’s original vision and Joss Whedon’s new additions was not exactly seamless. So does the fact that Aquaman is adding an entirely new character in reshoots signal the same kind of trouble? Not at all.

Wan himself took to Twitter to clarify, explaining that Park was always part of the cast and that he underwent additional photography on nearly all of his films:

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Image via Warner Bros.

Indeed, Wan completely changed the villain of The Conjuring 2 during additional photography—the Nun was not the central menace when they were shooting the horror sequel, and the design for the antagonist didn’t come into focus until post-production. And Furious 7 was one of the most difficult productions in history, with Wan and his team having to rework half the film when actor Paul Walker unexpectedly passed away during the middle of shooting. So going back after main filming has wrapped and grabbing some new footage is nothing new to Wan, and certainly nothing to worry about.

Indeed, more often than not “reshoots” are not a sign of problems. Studios regularly build additional photography into the budgets and schedules of blockbuster films, and a case like Justice League or World War Z or Rogue One where the story and/or characters are entirely reworked is not the norm. More often than not it’s about picking up smaller character moments or shots that the director wasn’t able to grab during filming and only realized he or she needed once the editing process began. Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World all underwent additional photography, and those films turned out fine. I mean, one need only look at All the Money in the World to see that major changes in post-production aren’t always bad.

So just keep all of this in mind the next time word surfaces that a major film is undergoing “reshoots.”

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