Superhero Fatigue: James Wan Set to Direct Standalone ‘AQUAMAN’ Film

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o-JASON-MOMOA-AQUAMAN-facebookCole Clay // Film Critic

Well, it’s official… superhero franchise fatigue has officially set in. Yesterday, Warner Brothers announced filmmaker James Wan (FURIOUS 7, THE CONJURING) will be heading up the AQUAMAN film starring Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONE’s Khal Drogo). Wan will also supervise screenwriting duties with Kurt Johnstad (300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE).

Wan is a fabulous filmmaker and is probably going to take this largely boring character in many interesting directions, but frankly, news is steadily flowing from the Marvel and DC Comic camps daily, and it’s now more of an inevitability than an exciting announcement.

We need a break from the endless stream of heroes, but thanks to billions in box office totals this isn’t coming anytime soon. DC really just needs to cool their jets and let their franchises breathe a bit and become part of the cultural conversation with a tangible product that the public has seen and accepted. BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE doesn’t even come out until March of next year, and they’re already priming new characters and spin-offs? It’s understandable that the Warner Brothers distributed company is trying to get ahead of the curve that Marvel has been setting up since 2008’s IRON MAN.

Filmmaker James Wan.

Filmmaker James Wan.

All of this is coming from a guy who is a casual comic book fan who has little interest in Aquaman, other than the faux film shown in ENTOURAGE. It just doesn’t make fiscal sense to have all these dates secured for a franchise that has yet to prove it has any financial worth. Like I said earlier, we have no clue how DAWN OF JUSTICE is going to perform (if it doesn’t cross a billion worldwide, consider it a disaster). It’s almost certain Aquaman will be in JUSTICE LEAGUE: PART ONE (November 10, 2017), which comes out a year before his standalone film. And then if that wasn’t enough, JUSTICE LEAGUE PART 2 comes out June 14, 2019. Keep in mind these films are being released the same year as AVENGERS: INFINITY WARS: PART 1 and 2.

Hard to follow? Imagine how moviegoers are going to feel when all of these films come out. The Darwin Awards of superhero movies are about to begin and only the biggest box-office tallies will survive. Wan’s last film FURIOUS 7 beat out THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON at the worldwide box office. So there is a chance, but something’s got to give.