Imagine you’re a director shooting a relatively simple scene involving two people sitting around talking. Sure, you have to make some choices about lighting and camera placement and how hard to flog your actors, but for the most part it’s pretty straightforward. Now imagine that scene is underwater — and you can see the problems that Aquaman director James Wan is having right about now.
Last we heard, Wan was in Australia surrounded by water, shooting the DCEU’s follow-up to this November’s Justice League movie, which of course heavily features Aquaman (Jason Momoa). And apparently the undertaking hasn’t exactly been a fluid one.
“It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on," Wan told The Hollywood Reporter. "Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex. … Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff."
Wan goes on to say that shooting with water, practical effects, and real actors “just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this. So it’s not an easy shoot — but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line.”
Hopefully that’s the case, and with Wan’s work on Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, and Furious 7, there’s really no reason to think it won’t be. And hopefully things go a little smoother now that the production crew has moved onto the next momentous shooting locale: Hastings Point in New South Wales, Australia, to film the Curry Lighthouse in the fictional coastal town of Amnesty Bay.
You can see in the background of Wan’s photo that construction is nearly complete on the Curry home, and well underway on the lighthouse, which, in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DCU, is manned by Aquaman's human dad, Tom Curry.
We’ll see how it all pans out when James Wan’s Aquaman surges into theaters Dec. 21, 2018.