DCEU’s Aquaman could’ve almost bore a resemblance to an Old Man Logan-esque storyline. Some of the most iconic DC and Marvel characters and premises have been tackled in their respective cinematic counterparts, with different directors having a specific vision for such ambitious endeavors. Take, for example, the constant comparisons drawn between Zack Snyder’s cut of the Justice League and that of Joss Whedon’s.
Some pursuits may experience two separate versions of an identical tale under extremely uncommon circumstances. However, others don’t get a chance to dabble in the alternative vision. That was the case for this one pitch for Aquaman that never quite saw the light of day. This version is said to have been so gloomy that it was rejected by the studios. Have a look.
Jeff Nichols’ Heartbreaking And Gritty Aquaman Pitch
Indie director Jeff Nichols is known for films such as Mud, the Oscar-nominated biographical romantic drama Loving, and the upcoming Austin Butler and Tom Hardy starrer, The Bikeriders. Before James Wan was ultimately chosen by Warner Bros. to direct the 2018 Jason Momoa superhero feature, the film and entertainment firm was reportedly engaged in discussions with Nichols to have him direct the project instead.
However, Nichols’ glum, somber-themed take on the character would lead Warner Bros. to dismiss the idea. It appears that DC Films (now DC Studios) were not fans of a narrative that didn’t have the potential to guarantee a billion-dollar return.
Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the director revealed details about the vision he had in mind for the marine-dwelling superhero:
“I still have scenes from [Aquaman] in my head that would’ve been good. They would’ve been quite different from the film that was made. It wasn’t ever feasible. […] I liked the older Aquaman, like when he had a harpoon for a hand. He was a fallen king and his son had died. He was in mourning. Obviously, from this brief pitch, you can see it would’ve sold hundreds of dollars worth of tickets.”
The tragic, mature undertone of the pitch does ignite ideas of the half-human, half-Atlantean superhero exhibiting the temperament of Old Man Logan. It will never be known if such a rendition of the iconic character would have resonated with the spectators.
Which Actor Would Play Jeff Nichols’ Aquaman?
Happy Sad Confused host Josh Horowitz poked fun at the director by asking whether or not Jeff Nichols’ longtime collaborator Michael Shannon would have played Aquaman in his rendition of the story. To date, the filmmaker has collaborated with the 49-year-old actor on all of his feature projects. Nichols replied the following:
“No. No. No. But you know, anyway. No. That stuff’s kind fun of to noodle on, but we got a lot of those movies now. There are a lot of stories in the world. It’s okay to spend some time telling some other ones.”
The director appears to have moved on from the notion of ever directing a film about the aquatic superhero. Aquaman, directed by James Wan, went on to become a commercial success in 2018. It amassed $1.148 billion at the box office against a budget of $160–200 million. Not only did the endeavor spell profits for the studio, but it also helped establish the importance of the character among fans of the film franchise.
This commercial praise paved the way for the sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, to be released on December 20, 2023. Meanwhile, Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders is scheduled to hit the theatres on December 1, 2023.
Source: Happy Sad Confused