Just yesterday, Warner Bros. revealed a new heavy metal logo for Justice League, which — as I pointed out — looked like exactly the sort of thing that Jason Momoa’s Aquaman could get behind. Is Ben Affleck’s Batman recruiting a team of superheroes, or assembling a heavy metal supergroup? Thanks to this new set photo, we have an answer.
The DC Extended Universe has some slam dunks (Justice League!) and some real risks. I would put Aquaman in the latter category. Previously best known as the guy on Super Friends who talks to fish, and so goofy a hero he was the butt of an extended joke about dumb Hollywood movies on Entourage, the King of the Seven Seas will headline his own movie in 2018 after he gets a proper introduction in next year’s Justice League. (Showing up on Wonder Woman’s computer screen in Batman v Superman doesn’t count.)
Last fall, it was reported that Warner Bros. had hired The Conjuring 2 scribe David Leslie Johnson to write the screenplay for Aquaman, which would reunite him with director James Wan. It looks like that didn’t exactly work out, as WB has now tapped Gangster Squad writer Will Beal to pen the screenplay based on a story treatment by Wan and DC’s Geoff Johns.
It was big news last week when Dope director Rick Famuyiwa was tapped to make the big-screen adaptation of DC Comics’ The Flash. Famuyiwa replaced Seth Grahame-Smith, who was originally supposed to make his directorial debut on the project, but later dropped out over “creative differences” with Warner Bros. But this whole scenario may not have played out if not for a decision made by a third filmmaker a few years ago.
There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding recent changes at Warner Bros. regarding their DC Extended Cinematic Universe. Following the underwhelming debut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice this past March, despite racking in $871 million worldwide, reports surfaced about executive shake-ups at the studio. Warner established a dedicated division called ‘DC Films,’ which is now spearheaded by DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns. But that didn’t seem to be the last of it. Last week, the New York Post reported that Warner Bros. would be undergoing even more management changes over the next six months.
NBC’s half-baked DC comedy Powerless won’t officially make its impact until sometime at midseason, but the full trailer managed to make its way online ahead of schedule. Get it while it’s hot, as DC namedrops galore rain down on the superhero insurance comedy!
The rumors of James Wan’s production squabbles on the set of Aquaman have been greatly exaggerated. An item about the DC superhero film universe posted over the weekend on Birth.Movies.Death cited “multiple, reliable sources” as claiming that director James Wan has been having some misgivings about the process, and may depart the project entirely if the friction between him and studio brass doesn't clear up. Writer Devin Faraci’s exact words were “a tremendous amount of trepidation,” speculating that the Jason Momoa-led Aquaman needs Wan much more than he needs the movie, having already laid claim to Warner Bros.’ summer slate with The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out, the latter of which he produced.
It’s difficult to ignore rumors when they’re so consistent — and persistent. Following the negative critical response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which didn’t perform as well as Warner Bros. expected at the box office, reports have surfaced that there’s some turmoil at the studio regarding the future of the Justice League franchise. Last night, news broke that Seth Grahame-Smith exited The Flash solo movie over “creative differences,” and a subsequent rumor seems to support the idea that WB’s DC plans aren’t going very smoothly.
The biggest criticism from those who disliked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was that Zack Snyder’s film just wasn’t very fun. It’s dark (figuratively and literally; hardly anything takes place in daytime), gritty and mostly very serious — save for the occasional wackiness of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Laurence Fishburne’s delightful Perry White. But for those concerned that the rest of the DC movie universe will be similarly dour, take comfort in these words from Aquaman director James Wan.
One of the many intriguing aspects of the Sony e-mail leak was the news that Warner Bros. was in talks with Jeff Nichols (the upcoming Midnight Special) to direct the Aquaman spinoff. We know now, over a year later, that Warner Bros. eventually hired James Wan to direct Aquaman, but I caught up with Nichols today to get the full story on what happened to his version of the film, and why he eventually decided to walk away.