Variety put out a release today revealing that James Wan will be doing an original feature before beginning work on Aquaman 2. The film has been announced as being a horror movie for New Line Cinemas. Details of the movie are being kept a secret including the title or what the plot will be. What we do know is that he helped come up with the story along with co-writer Ingrid Bisu. The film will be filming this Fall in Los Angeles and that he will begin work on Aquaman 2 right after.
It seems a bit strange to want to take a break from making a new Aquaman after the first one was such a monster hit. The Jason Momoa superhero movie managed to earn over a billion dollars worldwide. You would think that Warner Brothers would be pushing the panic button to make a second film as soon as possible. However, they probably realize how much of the film’s success is owed to Wan thanks to his ability to turn a risky project into a blockbuster. Wan has actually been a consistent money maker for well over a decade, thanks to movies like The Conjuring and Furious 7. He has enough clout to want to start up his own franchises and make sure they are made to his standards. As a producer, he is working on other potential big properties like the R-Rated Mortal Kombat reboot.
This new film will probably be the start of a new series of horror movies for the studio. Wan and Leigh Whannell helped kickstart the Saw franchise, one of the biggest horror series of the 2000’s. Since the Saw films have run out of steam, Warner Brothers and New Line are probably anxious to find a new series to launch. If Wan can make something cheap and quick that makes a ton of money, the investment could pay off for years at a time. Which can then raise capital for any future ambitions for more superhero movies. The potential for long term returns could be enough to put Aquaman on the back burner for 6 months while a story and pre production gets sorted out.
While it sucks to have to wait awhile for Aquaman to hit, it is cool to know that Warner Brothers is willing to be patient. They appear to have learned their lesson that rushing big DC comics releases can backfire. Letting their directors have the time and energy to be creative can hopefully help them stay competitive against the Marvel/Disney juggernaut.
Cover Image Credit: Gage Skidmore