There's no denying that James Wan's live-action Aquaman is one of the most ambitious blockbusters in recent memory. The sheer scope of the story and the use of advanced computer-generated special effects are staggering for general audiences that have been inundated with the superhero genre over the last decade.
Wan's vision for Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and the rest of Atlantis paid off because he and his entire production team paid close attention to details you might never have thought of. In The Art and Making of Aquaman (written by SYFY WIRE's own Mike Avila for Insight Editions), the movie's costume designer, Kym Barrett, talks about how she conceived of a set of Atlantean guidelines with producer Bill Brzeski.
"We decided we wanted to present 10 rules, we'd have a cohesive vision to present to James," she says in the book. "One of those rules was that because Atlantis was so technologically advanced, they had conceived breathable, cellular fabrics that could keep someone warm. You have to remember, Atlantis is thousands of feet underwater, and it's very cold at the bottom of the ocean."
As a result of these rules, form had to fit function; it wasn't just a question of coming up with the craziest designs in the world, but deciding how a costume, vehicle, or creature might actually work beneath the waves in serving the everyday Atlantean civilization.
"It couldn't just be a complete fantasy," states Brzeski. "We created this whole underwater way of doing things. We wanted to create reasonable explanations for how people live underwater."
One of those facets of everyday life was how Atlanteans "relieve" themselves, which gives a whole new dimension to peeing in the ocean during a summer's trip to the beach.
"How do they eat? How do they sleep? How do they use the bathroom? You have to think about all that stuff. All of it affects the world you're trying to create," Wan adds.
The Art and Making of Aquaman is now available for purchase everywhere.