James Wan says the focus in Aquaman 2 has always been on Arthur and his brother and not his relationship with Mera. The director also talks about reshoots.
Since the announcement of the second part ofAquaman, fans were wondering what the film was going to look like, especially after Amber Heard’s legal woes. It was unclear whether the actress would reprise her role as Princess Mera following her high-profile legal battles with ex Johnny Depp. Heard herself testified in court in May 2022 that her role in the sequel had been “purified”.
In an interview with EW, Wan explained that the central relationship in the new film is primarily between Arthur (Jason Momoa) and Orm (Patrick Wilson). The former enemies (and half-brothers) must team up to combat a greater threat from Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), now made more powerful by an artifact known as the Black Trident. It doesn’t seem like Mera is as important in this story and Wan says that was always his plan for the film.
“I always presented this to everyone from the start”Wan told EW. “The first Aquaman was Arthur and Mera’s journey. The second movie was always going to be Arthur and Orm. So the first one was a romantic action-adventure film, the second one is a bromance action-adventure film. We will leave it there. »
The Depp versus Heard trial lasted for months and attracted national media attention. As part of her testimony, Heard cited her role “very refined” in the sequel to Aquaman as a consequence of the “smear campaign” of her ex-husband against her. She said that Warner Bros. “didn’t want to include me.”
“I was given a script, and then new versions of the script which had removed the action scenes, which represented my character and another character, without giving away any spoilers, two characters fighting against each other, and they basically removed a lot of my role”Heard testified. “They just took a lot out of it. »
Not so huge reshoots
Also speaking to EW, Wan told EW that he didn’t oversee many reshoots for the superhero film. In July, The Hollywood Reporter published an article about the Aquaman sequel revealing that the post-production process included three additional sets of photography. While Wan doesn’t deny that figure, he insists it’s due to a fragmented schedule caused by the in-demand status of the film’s cast – which includes Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson and Nicole Kidman – rather than any substantial problems with the film.
“We have great actors in this film, and everyone’s schedule is really busy”he said. “So we had to divide our filming schedule into sections. We’re going to shoot here a little bit now, because this actor is available, and then we’ll do another shoot now, because this guy is available. People say, ‘Oh, they’re doing a bunch of different shoots!’ No. If we combined them all together, that actually doesn’t add up to a huge number of days. »
Reshoots are commonplace today, it’s not a sign that things are going wrong, it just helps to polish scenes or add new ones for consistency. For Wan, “Additional photography is never a negative thing. » He specifies : “I find new things and come up with new ideas. The Conjuring 2 was the perfect example of how I edited the whole movie and then – bing! – a light bulb went off in my head and I said to myself: “I know what I have to do. » Same here too. »
The THR article also claimed that Wan’s fellow filmmaker James Gunn, who became co-CEO of DC Studios last year, had “weighed in” on Aquaman 2, which the director does not deny while claiming that the product final is truly his, it’s his vision. “I’ve known James for a long time, haven’t I?” Wan said. “We’re horror guys, so I’m definitely open to ideas. But, at the end of the day, it’s my film. »
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will be released in theaters on December 20.
Source: EW, THR / Credit ©Warner Bros