Warner Bros’ underwater epic Aquamanis a DCEU movie with a lot of goodwill behind it, partly because Jason Momoa is a sentient cloud of charisma, partly because trailers have teased a colorful feast for the eyes, but boiled down the film’s hype largely comes from the fact it’s being guided by director James Wan. The filmmaker has proven he can build an entire universe with the Conjuring films while also displaying a knack for just blowing shit up with Furious 7, so this new behind-the-scenes Aquaman video released today comes off as a mighty smart move from Warner Bros. If you want audiences to get excited for this massive comic book meal, show them how it got made.
“For me, the most important thing is the story I’m telling,” Wan says in the video. “Whether it’s a scary set piece or a dramatic moment, it all comes down to the characters and if you care about them.”
The highlight is just how shockingly practical the costumes and sets look. There’s green-screen, definitely, but that’s actually Nicole Kidman laid out on a rock. That’s Momoa chilling in a tank. That’s actually Amber Heard getting blasted with tons of angry ocean wave effects.
“I fell in love with the project and fell in love with Mera,” Heard says. “She’s no damsel in distress. She’s a strong, badass, empowered superhero.”
And, if somehow none of that is interesting to you, know that the video is worth it for Wan’s delightful way of saying Aquaman as “Ackwaman” by itself.
Check out the video below. Aquaman—which also stars Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II—is set to hit theaters on December 14.
Here’s the official synopsis for Aquaman:
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.