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Peter Jackson says he sunk two requests for him to direct Aquaman

By Josh Weiss
Aquaman Peter Jackson

The master of Middle-earth could have taken his filmmaking talents down to the sunken depths of Atlantis. Known for his epic, world-building sci-fi and fantasy films, Peter Jackson revealed in a recent Empire magazine interview that Warner Bros. offered him the chance to direct the DCEU's Aquaman on two separate occasions.

“[Former Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara] said, ‘Are you a fan of Aquaman?’ I said, ‘No.’ Six months later: ‘Peter, are you a fan of Aquaman?’ I said, ’No, Kevin, I already told you this’,” the Lord of the Rings director said. “I’m not a superhero guy. I read Tintin… Look, films are hard. I only want to make something that I have a deep passion for... I don’t really anticipate making another theatrical film for a year or two.”

In the end, we all know that horror vet James Wan (The Conjuring) got the "wet" directorial job, shepherding the live-action project to rave reviews and more than $1 billion at the global box office. To date, Aquaman is the highest-grossing DC film ever made — a very good sign that WB now has a much better grasp on its shared comic-book universe.

Jackson, however, may still be licking his wounds after his long-gestating passion project, Mortal Engines, failed with critics and at the box office rather than kicking off a major blockbuster film franchise as was intended. While he didn't direct the steampunk-inspired movie, he did executive-produce and help write the screenplay. Hopefully, he'll start working on the sequel to Steven Spielberg's 2011 motion-capture/animated Adventures of Tintin movie very soon.

Aquaman 2 is slated to open in theaters Dec. 16, 2022, the same Friday as an untitled Star Wars movie from Disney and Lucasfilm. Original screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is attached to pen the sequel's script. Wan is also expected to return, but no official announcements have been made; A report in January claimed that the director is simply waiting for the script to be perfect.