While always invested in the horror genre, director James Wan has been expanding his oeuvre in recent years. It began with Furious 7, and soon we will see his latest contribution to the blockbuster world with Aquaman. That being said, the man certainly isn’t letting go of his horror roots, and you can definitely expect them to play into his DC Extended Universe work in specific ways. Said the director during an on-set interview,
The subject of James Wan’s history in the horror genre was one that came up frequently last year when I joined a small group of journalists visiting the set of Aquaman last summer in Melbourne, Australia. It was discussed in multiple interviews throughout the tour, leading to our conversation with Wan himself after production had wrapped for the day. He explained that his vision of Atlantis is going to be a beautiful and wondrous place, but he’s also not ignoring the instincts that tell him to explore the terrors that lurk miles below the waves.
So what are these “creatures of the deep” to which James Wan refers? As described by producer Peter Safran, they are the inhabitants of the kingdom known as The Trench, and they are just a bit more monstrous than the other individuals found in the other six undersea kingdoms. Discussing the influences of Wan’s horror past on Aquaman, Safran said,
The producer continued, however, and explained a very different way that Aquaman will feel familiar to those who have followed James Wan’s career. More than just being scary, the director’s past films have a way of making you legitimately care about the characters, which in turn makes you care more when they are in danger. According to Peter Safran, who has worked with Wan on all of the Conjuring Universe titles, that approach is very much in play in his debut superhero movie: