Earlier this morning, we covered some interesting details divulged by Neil Daly on the Fire and Water Podcast about Justice League. If those got you fired up, then wait until you hear what he had to say about Aquaman…
As a reminder, Daly is an independent market research analyst who works on the test screening side of things. So he gets to see multiple cuts of these movies, and he also is asked to analyze the data that comes back via polling of the audiences at these tests. So he gets to see how a film evolves, how plans change, and how audience feedback directly impacts the final cut of a film.
During his time working on Aquaman, Daly came away with some interesting insights into James Wan’s filmmaking process. Here are some of the notable bits he shared:
- He claims Wan sought Zack Snyder’s approval, showing him storyboards and early cuts of the film- and he did so against the studio’s wishes. (Snyder approved)
- The initial version clocked in at about three hours, and was said to be seen as too long and convoluted
- When making cuts, Wan wanted to trim a bunch of Black Manta’s stuff, as he mainly wanted to set him up as a villain for the sequel, but Geoff Johns told him to keep it and find elsewhere to cut
- Some of the test feedback for Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry was that he needed to be built up more, and to have more of that dry “Iron Man wit.” (This may explain his multitude of one-liners in the final film)
- The “Wonder Woman Nixes Aquaman Dating Rumor” headline easter egg in the mid-credit scene is said to be a holdover from the plan to make a Flashpoint movie
- The final cut of Aquaman is close to Wan’s vision, but in many ways because of his involvement as a writer and executive producer, Geoff Johns’ creative fingerprints are all over it
There’s a lot to unpack there. Feel free to do so in the comments below!