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James Wan Is My Hero With The Extended Aquaman Trailer

I will be his hypewoman until I die, probably.

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry in Aquaman

James Wan is a visionary. The horror genius has his hands all over some of the genre’s best films of the past several years, from the incredibly underrated Dead Silence to the Insidious and Conjuring franchises. Listing Wan’s name as director or producer is the fastest way to get me into a theatre, and he and the production company Blumhouse have done more for modern horror than most. But I’ll save the enthusiastic praising of his work in the horror genre for a later Halloween themed post, because I’m here to praise his take on Aquaman currently.

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Wan stepped behind the camera to do an action film with Furious 7, but Aquaman is his first superhero venture. At first, I was hesitant on whether an Aquaman movie would even work. After all, the hero is mostly the butt of everyone’s DC jokes. The casting of Jason Momoa definitely intrigued me, and I loved his role in Justice League; the first trailer for the film also looked incredibly kick-ass. Slowly, the film climbed my “movies to see” list, buoyed by a trust in Wan, Momoa, and Amber Heard.

Today, Wan and DC dropped an extended look at the film, and I immediately fell madly in love. Gone were my worries (also, why was I worried when I’ve already sold my soul to franchises with far weirder premises? More at eleven), now replaced with pure hype. All the hype in the world, in fact. Patty Jenkins might have saved the DCEU from the brink with Wonder Woman, but Wan and Aquaman might usher in a fresh new era.

The most striking thing about the trailer is how beautiful it looks. This is not to make a jab against Snyder’s muted palette, but the bright, comic book-y colors of Aquaman are absolutely gorgeous. Wan’s films have always had a way with color — just look at his use of red in his horror films to see what an eye he has. But the world of Arthur Curry explodes off the screen in vivid technicolor. Atlantis looks like something out of a dream, and you long to see it in IMax. In a world of greys and desaturation, this is a breath of fresh air.

There’s humor too, which is a relief. Some may say the extended reel borders on Marvel-esque, but personally? I don’t mind that. This is a movie about freaking Aquaman — for us to take it too seriously would be like Thor: The Dark World. It needs a brightness and levity. Plus, there is plenty of darkness lurking within to satisfy fans’ needs for a serious tale. The trailer promises all-out war, with no punches being pulled and enough action to satisfy even the hungriest of comic book fans.

A huge portion of the trailer features Arthur and Meera trying to escape from Black Manta’s minions. The chase scene is beautifully choreographed and kept me on the edge of my seat; while the wig needs work, the vivid scarlet of Meera’s hair cuts a striking picture as she leaps from rooftop to rooftop. As the trailer ramps up towards the end, we get to see an apocalyptic battle between Atlanteans and all manner of sea beasties, and the grandeur and stakes are painfully clear. While it might be loaded with CGI, at least Wan’s vision makes it easy to follow and bright and appealing to the eye.

Also, can I just say I love the opening shot? It turns the entire story into a fairy tale and I’m obsessed with it. I can’t wait to see how it plays into the entire story going forward.

The trailer is loaded with enough teases that it borders on the spoiler-y, so maybe watch with some caution. But if you’re on the fence about whether or not to go see this film, give it a chance. The vision should impress you enough to merit a ticket come December. Keep following us for more coverage as we get closer to the premiere.

(via io9; Image: Warner Bros)

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Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.

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