“I am not quite sure if I would want to make The Dark Knight version”: James Wan Had a Clear Agenda for Aquaman That Went Against Christopher Nolan’s Vision for Superheroes

James Wan did not want to focus on realism, something that Christopher Nolan made a point to do in his Dark Knight trilogy.

“I am not quite sure if I would want to make The Dark Knight version”: James Wan Had a Clear Agenda for Aquaman That Went Against Christopher Nolan’s Vision for Superheroes


  • James Wan faced quite a few challenges when making the first Aquaman movie.
  • One of the biggest was his decision to walk away from realism and focus on humour.
  • He added that since Aquaman was a lesser known character, he could not do what Christopher Nolan did in the Dark Knight trilogy, and show darker sides of his personality.
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James Wan’s Aquaman was certainly a very memorable film from the DC universe. Starring actors like Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Nicole Kidman, it stood out for fans in many ways. So much so, that the movie ended up being one of the best-doing films from the franchise. What was the biggest reason for this, was perhaps the difference in the theme that DC was known and the one that it adapted.

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James Wan's Aquaman 2
James Wan’s Aquaman 2

It is a widely well-known fact that DC films are very dark. They have darker tones, and generally feel a lot more gloomy, compared to other superhero franchises. This is why Aquaman stood out, having a lighter tone. This can be credited to Wan, who directed the movie. During a recent interview, the director revealed that when he was making this film, there was one particular aspect that he found very difficult to imitate, unlike Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. So much so that he left it out. He could not fit realism in this movie.


Also Read: Aquaman 2’s Disastrous Predictions are Making James Wan “Itch” To Return To His Comfort Genre Horror

James Wan Couldn’t Do What Christopher Nolan Did

James Wan recently did an interview with Slash Films, where he spoke in great detail about his upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. During this, he also talked about all that went through his head when he was making the first film. He explained that one of the biggest aspects that he found difficult to translate onto screen, was trying to make Aquaman into a realistic movie.

James Wan with Amber Heard and Jason Momoa on Aquaman set
James Wan with Jason Momoa on the Aquaman set

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I got to be honest: I did not know how to do a realistic “Aquaman” movie. Do you know what I mean? With all of these things, I just could not wrap my head around that version. I mean, I am not quite sure if I would want to make “The Dark Knight” version of “Aquaman.”

He explained this, by using an example of the superhero series that is known for being the most realistic, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. He explained that he simply could not wrap his head around how he would make a film like this, with a theme that would be similar to Christian Bale’s classic. Bringing out the darker sides of this character, who doesn’t showcase that many in the comics, would certainly be a challenge.

Also Read: “I feel like the itch…”: James Wan’s Latest Revelation Might Upset DC Fans But Will Make Horror Enthusiasts Euphoric


James Wan Understood That Aquaman Was A Lesser-Known Character

James Wan then went on to explain another reason why he could not choose that approach for this particular character. Again, using the example of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, he explained that Batman is a character that is widely well known by the general public. They are aware of his personality, his motivations, and all that haunts him.

James Wan's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

“It’s different if your character has been around for a while and you’re trying to find different ways to reinvent the character. But it’s the first time out of the gate, at least cinematically on the big screen. We’ve never seen the Aquaman story, the Aquaman world, portrayed to that level. And I just knew that I wanted, and I had to, embrace the quirkiest side of this world. I feel like it allows me as a filmmaker to do a lot more, to have fun with it.”

This means that with every new film that comes out about this character, the creators get an opportunity to pick and choose particular aspects of this character and reinvent them into an entire personality. Show viewers, different, shiny parts of them. The same could not have been done with Aquaman. He explained that Aquaman was a fairly new character for life action. He had not yet appeared on the big screen, and fans weren’t as aware of his personality. This is why he decided to focus on the more eccentric parts of his world, rather than the darkness of it.


Also Read: “He is more powerful than ever”: Jason Momoa and James Wan’s Latest Comments on Black Manta Will Have the DC Fans Hyped For Aquaman 2


Written by Ananya Godboley

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for Fandomwire with over 700 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.