Warner Bros. and its DC Films division scored a huge win this past December with the release of Aquaman, with the Jason Momoa-headlined superhero adventure smashing the $1 billion mark at the global box office (it’s currently the second-highest grossing DC movie ever, just $18 million shy of The Dark Knight Rises).
This must surely be a relief for the studio following the underwhelming performance of 2017’s Justice League, which led to a major behind-the-scenes shake-up at DC Films. And, speaking to THR, Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich has been reflecting on Aquaman’s success, stating that it feels they have “turned the corner” and are now “far less focussed on a shared universe.”
“We all feel like we’ve turned a corner now,” said Emmerich. “We’re playing by the DC playbook, which is very different than the Marvel playbook. We are far less focused on a shared universe. We take it one movie at a time. Each movie is its own equation and own creative entity. If you had to say one thing about us, it’s that it always has to be about the directors.”
We’ve known for a while now that WB intends on branching out to include standalone DC movies – it has the 80s-set Joker origin movie incoming this October – but it remains to be seen what impact this “DC playbook” will have on the shared DC Extended Universe once we get past Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Can we expect more Joker-style standalone movies, or might the DCEU take a leaf out of Fox’s X-Men universe and play fast and loose with continuity?
On a side note, one has to question whether Warner Bros. was “all about the directors” when it enforced changes to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League… Let’s hope the studio has learned from its past mistakes and is now prepared to actually stand by its apparent “filmmaker-led” policy.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman”, starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime — one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be … a king.”
Aquaman is directed by James Wan (The Conjuring) and stars Jason Momoa as the titular hero, reprising his role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, along with Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Dr. Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Ludi Lin as Murk, Michael Beach as Jesse Kane, Djimon Hounsou as the Fisherman King, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, Otis Dhanji as a young Arthur Curry, Julie Andrews as Karathen and Graham McTavish as King Atlan.