Aquaman Behind-the-Scenes Video Reveals James Wan’s Underwater Epic

Warner Bros. has just dropped our best look yet at the epic undertaking that James Wan, his cast and crew took on with Aquaman. In a three minute behind-the-scenes video, Wan and his cast talk about bringing the world of Aquaman to the big screen, which included a massive amount of underwater shots, underwater stunt work, and the huge task of bringing an underwater world to life.

“The most important thing is the story that I’m telling, whether it’s a scary set piece or a dramatic moment, it all comes down to the characters and if you care about them,” Wan says at the outset of the video, and of course he’s right. Just take a look at another film that required a brand new world to be created—Black Panther. While seeing the fictional African country of Wakanda on screen was phenomenal, the film soared first and foremost because of the characters, from T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) to the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Wan’s task is similar here; he not only needed to conjure the kingdom of Atlantis (which is made all the more difficult for being at the bottom of the ocean) but also he needed to introduce us to characters we’ll care about. We’ve already gotten to know Aquaman himself, Arthur Curry, thanks to Jason Momoa’s winning performance in Justice League, but in order for the film to work, we’ll need to believe in Amber Heard’s Mera, Patrick Wilson’s Orm, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta and more. Considering the talent of the cast (which, not for nothing, also includes Willem Dafoe, Djimon Hounsou, and Nicole Kidman), you should feel pretty good about the chances that this cast will warrant your concern.

“I fell in love with the project, and I fell in love with Mera,” Amber Heard says. “She’s not a damsel in distress. She’s this strong, bad-ass, empowered superhero. And after four and a half months of stunt training, six days a week, you feel pretty superhuman.” The stunt work in the video does look pretty righteous, with Momoa mentioning training in judo and jujitsu. That epic fight between Aquaman and Black Manta that highlighted the five-minute long trailer released at New York Comic Con was no joke.

What’s more, the world they’re inhabiting looks incredible. “With Aquaman, the trick and also part of the fun is designing a whole different world we’ve never seen before,” Wan says. “We’re limited by our own imagination.” That world looks impressive. The sheer scope of the project—having to create a believable world of warring tribes beneath the sea—is wild. To see the cast and crew in the midst of actually creating this world, and the level of detail in the watery set design is to believe, if nothing else, that Wan and crew held nothing back.

“This is our outer space,” Momoa says of the ocean, and he’s right. The vast terrain beneath the waves is home to all sorts of wild creatures and high-stakes drama—Aquaman seems to have been inspired by the challenge of living up to that.

Aquaman splashes into theaters on December 21, 2018.

Featured image: A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “AQUAMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


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.