Aquaman director explains how they filmed underwater fight scenes

Dan Seddon
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

From Digital Spy

Aquaman director James Wan has dissected the construction of his movie's underwater fight scenes.

There's one in particular that he's chosen to discuss, which is where Arthur Curry and King Orm - portrayed by Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson - duel for the Atlantean throne in a volcanic, underwater coliseum of sorts.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The filmmaker recently told The New York Times: "It's something that we haven't quite seen before and that was really my goal. And these guys, being Atlanteans, they have the ability to swim and move really fast. I think the reason why I set this inside a volcano is because I wanted to sort of get the interesting colour palette of the warmth from underneath the characters, and then have the cool light from above.

"And so what that does is it allows me to always let the audience know where they are when they're actually watching the fight sequence," Wan continued.

"Because the characters are spinning around and the camera's twisting all over the place, you know, defying gravity, and so it's kind of hard to know where you are and having the strong colour palettes just let the audience have a sense of this geographic space."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

It sounds like the film's battle choreography was a challenging prospect, as Wan revealed how the team had to go back to basics in order to replicate an oceanic environment and how that would affect certain movements.

He added: "I worked closely with my stunt team - an amazing group of stunt choreographers and stunt performers - and we laid the fight flat on the floor to begin with because you know, we're surface dwellers, and that's how we know how to do it.

"We'd do it on the ground coming up with cool moves, cool attack moves, cool dodge moves and jumps and flips and stuff like that. And then once we have a look that I'm happy with, now we put the actors and the stunt performers either on wires or these rigs that help to give the impression and illusion of floating underwater."

Thankfully for the Aquaman team, their hard work really paid off. Go check out Digital Spy's review.

Aquaman is now in cinemas.

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