James Wan is trying to swim past the “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” on-set rumors.
The director told Empire magazine that reports of reshoots have been exaggerated for the Jason Momoa-led superhero movie. “We probably did seven or eight days, which is nothing for a movie of this size,” Wan said. “It was just spread out because it’s so hard to get your actors back once you’ve finished the initial shoot.”
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Wan admitted that he “had to learn to be more Zen in dealing with all the noise” especially when it came to rumors of issues in the production.
“I’m a pretty private person,” Wan said. “I don’t get on social media and have fights, but it’s difficult because this narrative has emerged that is not the reality. The noise is fun to write about, and it gets clicks, but people don’t know the truth.”
A recent Variety cover story claimed that Amber Heard was initially cut from the sequel; her character was supposedly reinstated after then-boyfriend Elon Musk sent a “scorched earth letter” to Warner Bros. demanding her casting. Heard later claimed her role was cut down in the sequel due to the allegations amid the defamation lawsuit with ex-husband Johnny Depp. Heard plays Aquaman’s love interest in the superhero movies.
Wan told Empire that “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” was always supposed to be a love story, yet one of the brotherly kind with Patrick Wilson’s character Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother.
“From the start, I pitched that the first film would be a ‘Romancing the Stone’-type thing – an action-adventure romantic comedy – while the second would be an outright buddy comedy,” Wan said. “I wanted to do ‘Tango & Cash.’ Jason [Momoa] plays Arthur larger-than-life; Patrick [Wilson] plays the straight man. It’s not unlike what Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones did in ‘Men In Black’ – like Tommy, Patrick plays it dry, but very funny.”
As for the production swaps, reports of Ben Affleck reprising his role of Batman for the film have since been squashed with the appointment of Peter Safran and James Gunn as co-CEOs of the franchise.
Wan previously told Entertainment Weekly that the long-awaited film was shot in “sections” dependent on actors’ availability.
“We have big actors in this movie, and everyone’s schedule is really hard. So, we had to break up our shooting schedule into sections. We’ll shoot a bit here now, because this actor’s available, and then we’ll do another shoot now, because this guy’s available,” Wan said. “People are like, ‘Oh, they’re doing a whole bunch of different shoots!’ No. If we actually combined them all together, it’s actually not that many number of days at all.”
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