With the exception of 2015’s Fast & Furious 7 and 2007’s Death Sentence, the feature film output of director James Wan is horror movies across the board, making the new Aquaman a bit of a departure for the prominent genre filmmaker. Nonetheless, Wan’s upcoming journey to Atlantis may not be quite as radically removed from the Insidious helmsman’s usual work as you might suspect, with the director recently claiming that he pitched the project to DC as a “horror monster movie.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Wan recalled how Warner Bros. gave him two options for superheroes he could adapt for the big screen – The Flash and Aquaman – and explained how it was the strange world inhabited by Arthur Curry that made him choose the latter:
“I realized, wow, his character resides in this crazy, big world, and I could do something very interesting with it. I look up to people like Spielberg, Cameron, Lucas, John Carpenter. I’m a fan of genre filmmaking, naturally. So I thought I could make Aquaman a genre film, meaning a horror monster movie. DC basically said, yes, you can make Aquaman versus sea monsters, if that’s what you want.”
Based on what we’ve seen and heard from the new film, Aquaman is hardly straight up horror movie, but the trailers have made it pretty clear that the feature at least has monsters in abundance.
This certainly isn’t the only time that Wan has recalled trying to blend the horror and superhero genres, with the filmmaker also recently mentioning that he once pitched a Blade reboot to Marvel and has even considered trying to make a Batman horror film.
Nonetheless, Wan ended up making his superhero debut with Aquaman, and so far, we see little reason for Warner to regret picking him for the job, with the flick already surpassing the $260 million mark at the overseas box office while heading towards its North America release with a projected gross of $65 million on its first weekend. You can judge for yourself if Wan’s movie is worth all the fuss when the film hits theaters on December 21st.