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Go fhtagn yourself: Aquaman director James Wan talks about Lovecraftian influence on the superhero movie

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Sep 6, 2018

When watching Aquaman this December, try not to lose your mind and grip on reality at the sight of certain CGI terrors of the deep. While teasing his upcoming superhero movie for Empire Magazine's October issue, director James Wan talked about the influence that H.P. Lovecraft had on the project.

The late writer helped shape modern horror within the contexts of weird and cosmic fiction, telling frightening tales of entities and knowledge far beyond the veil of human comprehension. Two of Lovecraft's most famous creations are Cthulhu, who slumbers at the bottom of the ocean; and the Deep Ones, a race of fish-like creatures that worship Great Old Ones like Cthulhu and Dagon.

Armed with the concept of unnamed horrors living just beneath the surface of the waves, Wan was able to pay homage to one of the greatest horror writers of all time when it came to the underwater kingdoms we'll see in the film. You can expect creatures like "pincered crustaceans and green-gilled tritons."

“It shows you a part of Earth we’ve never seen before," he said. "That’s what enticed me to it: the opportunity to play on a big canvas. There’s seven kingdoms in the underwater world, and in my movie, we get the opportunity to explore them.”

One of his favorite domains is "the Kingdom Of The Trench," which plays host to Lovecraftian “monstrous ancient ones of the deep.”

But don't worry, it won't be two hours of cosmic and existential dread. Wan says that the movie will be a ton of fun, akin to what we saw in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

"It’s something different [for the DCEU] ... There’s definitely going to be that Star Wars element where, just under the surface, there’s a whole world going to war — seven of them!”

Aquaman snorkels into theaters Dec. 21.