James Wan, the director of the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom film, is trying to save the film from bombing at the box office by claiming it is a “standalone” movie.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Aquaman (2018), DC Films

Two weeks after  The Flash opened in theaters and proceeded to completely bomb with analysts predicting the film will cost Warner Bros. Discovery around $150 million, James Wan is trying to prevent the same from happening to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Wan spoke with ComicBook.com telling the outlet, “Well, Aquaman – even the first film – has always been a very standalone film. That was always our approach: that it kind of lives in its own world, and that’s kind of how we’ve approached The Lost Kingdom as well.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman (2018), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Wan then tried to hype up the film, “You know, people love Jason Momoa; people love him playing this role; and people love the action visuals of this space and this world.”

“And that’s what we’re doing: we’re taking it to the next level and we are still expanding – and just any fans of Aquaman the character, that love Black Manta, this is the next level and I’m very excited to finally put out there to show them what we’ve been working on all these years,” he added.

Wan’s comments are clearly an attempt to distance the film from The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and even Black Adam, they are also a shift in how DC was marketing the film.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Aquaman (2018), Warner Bros. Entertainment

RELATED: ‘Aquaman’ Star Jason Momoa Further Indicates He Is Sticking Around DCU, Says He Will Continue To Play Aquaman As Well As “A Couple Different Roles”

At the end of January, Momoa, who plays Aquaman, said he would continue on in the role with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over as DC Studios CEOs.

He told Deadline, “I love [James] Gunn and so there’s gonna be some really cool things, what they’re doing with DC, and I definitely will be in more than just one. There’s room for me to play a couple different [roles]… I’ve seen other actors do it. Yeah. I want a shot.”

Momoa reiterated this to Variety saying, “I’ll always be Aquaman. Ain’t anyone coming in there and taking shit. There might be some other characters, too. I can play other things, too. I can be funny and savage and charming.”

RELATED: Following ‘Shazam! Fury of The Gods’ Box Office Disaster, Jason Momoa Attempts To Stave Off Similar Disaster For ‘Aquaman 2’

This continued in March when Jason Momoa told Total Film that Aquaman would continue in Peter Safran and James Gunn’s DC Universe they are building with Superman: Legacy.

Momoa stated, “Peter [Safran]’s my producer [on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom], and is a dear friend. “I absolutely think Aquaman will be involved in the DCU. It’s on, bro – there’s no one bigger than Aquaman!”

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), Warner Bros. Entertainment

RELATED: DC Studios CEO Appears To Lend Credence To Rumors That Jason Momoa Will Exit The Role Of Aquaman After ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’

However, by May it seemed DC’s marketing strategy shifted with Peter Safran hinting that Momoa might be out as Aquaman following Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom telling Men’s Health, “I look forward to working with Jason for many years to come. I would be happy for it to be in Arthur Curry’s world, but if/when another opportunity came up, I’d find another great character for him to create.”

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman (2018), Warner Bros. Entertainment

Maybe the biggest piece of evidence is that Wan’s comments are a marketing shift, aside from the fact that Momoa’s Aquaman appears in The Flash, is the fact he told The Hollywood Reporter at the beginning of this month he “had to make adjustments all along the way” due to the DC reset that was supposedly going to happen in The Flash.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Brian Davids asked, “How much adjusting have you had to do to December’s sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, to fit DC’s reset by way of The Flash?”

Wan responded, “I’ve had to make adjustments all along the way. The DCU has been through lots of different versions, and one of the things that was challenging about this film was keeping track of what’s going on.”

Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), HBO Max

However, while admitting he had to make adjustments he did start spinning the idea that Aquaman had always been far removed from the DCEU despite the character being one of the major characters in the Justice League film.

Wan stated, “Fortunately, the Aquaman universe is pretty far removed from the rest of the world. We’re going to many different underwater kingdoms that are not necessarily related to what’s happening with the other movies and characters, so we’re stand-alone in that respect.”

“So I can just tell my story on its own without being affected too much, but at the same time, I have to be mindful of what’s been happening,” he added.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman (2018), Warner Bros. Entertainment

What do you make of Wan’s comments?

NEXT: Jason Momoa Doubles Down On ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’ Pushing A Climate Change Narrative


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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.