James Wan to direct Aquaman

James Wan, the director of Furious Seven and The Conjuring, will helm Aquaman for Warner Bros. The superhero movie, with Jason Momoa starring as DC Comics’ King of the Seven Seas—and stalwart member of the Justice League—is scheduled for a 2018 release.

The Aquaman film will be a major tentpole picture for us and James’s span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material,” said Greg Silverman, Warner’s president of creative development and worldwide production.

Kurt Johnstad is writing the script, which Wan will “supervise,” and the film will be produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, and Zack Snyder. Momoa’s Aquaman is expected to be introduced on-screen in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

“James is not only a great storyteller but can make action truly explode on the big screen, and Jason has a dynamic presence that commands your attention,” said Roven. “Together, they will bring an undeniable vitality and energy to this character as he headlines his first feature film.” 

For years, Aquaman felt like a reach as a potential franchise, even though the Entourage version of the movie, directed by James Cameron and starring Vincent Chase, became a blockbuster. But the first image of Momoa and the reminder of Aquaman’s pivotal position in the DC Universe—a reluctant ruler “caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt, committed to protecting the entire globe,” according to the latest press release—demonstrate some interesting possibilities.

“The whole mythology of Aquaman is pretty amazing,” Momoa told EW earlier this year. “There’s so many things to tell, and there’s a whole backstory that’s just amazing. There’s a lot of surprises coming. I think, yeah, he’s been cast aside [in the past]. But, um [laughs] times are going to change now, buddy. … We don’t want to just reinvent it, but [Zack Snyder has] got a whole idea of what Aquaman should be and I’m really honored to be playing it. I’m excited for the world to see it.”