James Wan Confirms Aquaman Won’t Have Other Justice League Characters

Looks like Aquaman (Jason Momoa)’s going to have fight Black Manta (Yahya Abudl-Matteen II) and King Orm (Patrick Wilson) on his own. Director James Wan confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the Atlantean superhero won’t have his super squad backing him—Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Batman and the Flash won’t be appearing in the film. Wan spoke with Warner Bros. when he was tapped to direct and told them of his vision of telling a proper, stand-alone story about Aquaman in which he’d get his own hero’s journey, without any help from his friends, and they obliged. Here’s what he had to say to EW:

“I wanted to keep the story to the world of Aquaman and not have to worry about what other characters are doing in their films and how that would affect us. I just thought the simplest way was to keep it clean — keep it simple and let it be an Aquaman story. I told them I understand and respect that it’s part of a bigger universe but at the end of the day I have to tell the story I want to tell, and I want to develop the character as well. “It was something the studio was respectful about…in my movie he starts off one way and becomes very different by the end. It’s a classic hero’s journey. I equate our story to The Sword and the Stone, it’s a very Arthurian story about a journey to becoming king.”

Everything we’ve seen thus far indicates that not only has Wan been given a free hand to create the world of Aquaman as he envisioned it, but that it was absolutely the right choice. The trailer revealed a wondrous, hyper-colorful underwater world, complete with battle sharks, a technologically advanced Atlantis, action sequences unlike any we’ve seen in a DC film (or Marvel, for that matter), and a movie that looks singular rather than it being a mere part of a larger, extended universe. Even though Aquaman is, of course, a big part of both Justice League and the larger DCEU, giving Wan the freedom to tell Aquaman’s story alone will likely reap huge dividends for Warner Bros, both critically and commercially. Just look how well it worked when Patty Jenkins was given the same leeway with Wonder Woman—the result was simply the best DC film thus far.

Aquaman hits theaters on December 21.

Featured image: JASON MOMOA as Aquaman. Courtesy Warner Bros. 


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.