James Wan’s Aquaman has been called many things, but complex definitely isn’t one of them. At its core, the DCEU blockbuster is the standard superhero origin story of a character who turns their back on destiny, only to face a series of personal setbacks along the way before they embrace what they were born to do by the end of the third act.
To get to that point, though, the filmmaker threw in many bizarre and insane asides. Aquaman is chaotic nonsense in the best possible fashion, featuring such things as an octopus playing the drums, Dolph Lundgren riding into battle sporting a ginger wig and riding an armored seahorse, screen legend Dame Julie Andrews as a deep sea leviathan, and Toto covering Toto’s “Africa”. In short, that sh*t is wild.
However, in a new interview to promote his upcoming return to horror in Malignant, Wan explained that he always seeks to do the unexpected, teasing that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be much more complex than its straightforward, but still hella fun, predecessor.
“That’s when I start to pull this away, and I start to take you on this electrifying journey, and it’s that aspect that makes it fun for me. And it’s not just my horror films. I tried to do that even in Fast and Furious 7, and to some degree in Aquaman, but definitely more so in Aquaman 2. There are more complexities in Aquaman 2 than in the first movie. This is just stuff that I learned along the way, and it’s what I find intriguing as a filmmaker, and I try to take everything that I’ve learned from each film, and carry them with me to my next movie.”
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Cameras have been rolling on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom for a couple of months, and while we definitely shouldn’t expect Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry to suddenly get all serious and channel Zack Snyder, the story or character dynamics could offer the complexities of which Wan speaks. As long as it doesn’t lose that unbridled sense of gonzo excitement that made the opener such an unexpected surprise.