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Aquaman director James Wan has solved the underwater dialogue issue

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Jun 13, 2018, 5:54 PM EDT

When it was released last year, Justice League faced a sea of criticism for using an "air-bubble" during Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera's (Amber Heard) first meeting underwater in the film. If they can breathe and live underwater, they've certainly figured out how to communicate without having to displace it, right? 

Shortly after Justice League surfaced, Aquaman director James Wan took to Twitter to cheekily quip that, nope, his movie — which hits theaters this December — would not have air bubbles. Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wan (Furious 7) said he's figured out the key to showing the audience how Atlanteans will talk during the film while in the depths of the ocean. They will merely talk. Genius.

"People are overthinking it," he explained. "They’re just gonna talk!”

Indeed — with the film set mostly underwater — having to create an air bubble every single time there was dialogue would be tedious, so Wan eliminated its use altogether. Per early footage viewed by EW, characters talk normally, with some sound-wave visual effects added in.

This does pose an interesting departure from Justice League, but then again, Wan appears to be going to great lengths to distinguish his film from the superhero pack.

He's certainly got his work cut out for him: Aquaman has always been far from the splashiest character in the DC Universe, often playing second fiddle to biggies like Superman and Batman (and, well, often the butt of jokes). But thanks to the Geoff Johns' run during The New 52 and the charisma of Momoa, he's turned into one of DC’s heavy hitters. From updates like these to the great response at CinemaCon, Aquaman could join Wonder Woman as part of the saving grace for the DCEU, following Justice League's dismal box office performance.

Aquaman his theaters on Dec. 21.