james wan

If the plot of James Wan’s (The Conjuring series, the Insidious series, Saw) big-screen adaptation of DC’s Aquaman – a reluctant hero born of two worlds, one technologically advanced beyond all (or rather some) imagination, forced to set aside his selfishness, ego, and contempt and embrace his heritage, literally fighting for his birthright in trident-to-trident combat in an arena, followed by loss, redemption, and the rest – sounds more than vaguely familiar, it’s because it should. Though likely unintentional, Aquaman’s credited screenwriters, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall (Wan shares a story credit), followed the Black Panther template practically beat for reverse beat, turning a reluctant outsider into a reluctant hero and leader while turning his born-to-be-king brother into a hardcore, ideological warrior eager to bring a world of hurt and pain to those who’ve wronged his underwater-dwelling people (and all marine life too). Basically, it’s superhero template filmmaking, but like Black Panther, it’s the details, it’s what you do within and outside the confines of that template, that dictate whether the result will be genre-elevating commercial or political art like Black Panther or – in the case of Aquaman – purely commercial entertainment. (more…)

While Warner Bros. continues to try – and continues to fail (and flail) – to match Disney/Marvel’s cinematic (superhero) universe at the box office or in popular culture, it’s succeeded where just about everyone least expected: A shared supernatural universe created by James Wan, the filmmaker behind not one, not two, but three popular franchises (Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring). (A fourth, Aquaman, will get its long delayed debut at multiplexes in December.) Wan’s second entry in the series, The Conjuring 2 introduced “The Nun (Bonnie Aarons),” an ancient demon, supernatural star, and expert-level cosplayer that haunted the protagonists as a pasty-faced, rotted teeth, glowing-eyed nun (because by their nature, nuns are inherently frightening creatures). Within seconds of her terrifying appearance, audiences wanted to know more, see more, and hear about the Nun. As always, though, we should be careful what we wished for. Too much explanation, too little story, and the result looks something like the 1950s-set The Nun, a slow burn, slow build horror entry that’s all burn and all build, with little in the way of a satisfying emotional payoff.

As always, spoilers!!!!

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Momoa’s ‘Aquaman’ Finds Its Black Manta

Since the earliest ideas about the upcoming Aquaman movie has far surpassed the expectations that anyone had of the submarine superhero. Jason Momoa‘s burly protagonist reinvented Aquaman in a way that fit with the dark and powerful new image that DC has been creating for its heroes in its most recent wave of movies. Between director James Wan and a screenplay by Will Beall, the movie has had fans talking for some time already, even though it is not due for release until the summer of 2018. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros has been making progress with the rest of the cast. (more…)

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Tone. It’s the word that’s been haunting any and all discussion about the DC Extended Universe since Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice came out back in March. With the critical blowback, not to mention the weaker than expected box office, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have gone on a charm offensive as if to say, “Don’t worry! The rest of these movies won’t be as dark as this!” While we may be dubious of the intentions of Zack Snyder with Justice League, perhaps other filmmakers will have better luck convincing the audience that the DCEU can be bright and shiny too. James Wan, for instance, he has some very particular inspiration in mind for his Aquaman movie.  (more…)

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With just over two years to go until the July 27, 2018 premiere date, DC‘s Aquaman is currently shooting under director James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring). Recently some on set pictures have surfaced thanks to Kyle Jones aka Nighthawkj2 which features Jason Momoa in full Aquaman gear in a water tank that should get those Aquaman fan juices flowing. Wan has promised that Aquaman will not be too serious, but more fun while still showing the bad-ass side of the King of the Seas. Take a look. (more…)

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The Internet can be a minefield of misinformation, from simple mistakes to the intentional stirring up trouble type. Another form that has been developing lately is the chain effect. Where one page reports something as a rumor or some whispers heard and another site picks that up, and then another, as the rumor is diluted until some sites start reporting those rumors as confirmed facts. Over the weekend one such story hit the Internet, that included both, a confirmed fact (Flash director Seth Grahame-Smith had left the production due to creative differences) and some whispered rumors that many took as fact, that James Wan was, “feeling a tremendous amount of trepidation about Aquaman,”  which many turned into Wan’s exit from the movie. Now Wan has taken to Twitter to clear the whole thing up, and ask the Internet to lay off the guy who started the whole thing. (more…)

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There are certainly tough times for the Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment executives that were hoping that Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice would be a license to print money. It’s weird to think of a movie that’s made almost $900 million at the worldwide box office as a failure, but there it is, a failure enough to make some people start thinking twice about the course that’s been charted with the DC Extended Universe movies. The rumors are mounting though, and the new one today is that the King of Atlantis might be without a director to tell him what to do in his upcoming solo movie.  (more…)

‘Aquaman’ Signs On a Furious Director

Wan Aquaman

Regardless of how you feel about the Marvel vs. DC movie scuffle, one thing’s for certain – Warner Bros./DC has a reputation for making some rather unconventional choices. The Aquaman project isn’t set to release for another three years, but they’re getting right on top of it and now they’ve finally pinned down a director. The choice for this flick, however, is anything but unconventional. In fact, WB is looking at one of Hollywood’s top action directors for the job – James Wan. (more…)