Australian filmmaker James Wan has made a name for himself with blockbuster horror films. After the release of Aquaman 2, this is where he should return.
Before leading Aquaman 2 and his popular predecessor, James Wan was probably best known for his prolific horror film resume. The Australian author first rose to prominence with a succession of ghastly and macabre fear festivals before moving on to making more mainstream films. However, if there is anything about his career to date, it’s that Wan’s true passion lies in the darker aspects of cinema.
Wan is new the project follows in the footsteps of the very popular Aquaman – a DCEU property that showcased the director’s flair for over-the-top action and ambitious sets. The film was warmly received by critics and audiences alike, grossing over $ 1 billion at the box office and securing a respectable 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. Given this success and the accolades he has received for its achievement, it’s no surprise that Wan is back to helm the upcoming sequel. On the other hand, there is a strong argument that he should use his experience to take the DCEU in a much darker direction.
One of the things that makes a future DCEU horror film directed by Wan so enticing is its insanely creepy resume. The now-established filmmaker got his big break thanks to the smash hit Seen franchise – as the writer / director of the first film in the series. Since then, Wan has directed some of the most immediately recognizable horror works of this century, including Insidious and Conspiracy. With all three of these influential and hugely popular series already under his belt, he seems like the perfect candidate to direct a groundbreaking DCEU horror film.
It’s not just Wan’s vast horror pedigree that makes returning to the genre such a compelling idea. One thing Wan does, arguably more successfully than anyone in recent memory, is create compelling, quirky horror stories that have the potential to span entire terrifying universes. To take Conspiracy, for example. Following the widely acclaimed debut installment, the series has expanded to include two more Conjuring films and five spin-off films, grossing over $ 2 billion worldwide and becoming the second most successful horror film franchise of all time. This world-building ability fits perfectly with the complex narrative threads required in a pre-existing series such as the DCEU.
Beyond Wan’s track record, however, is the fact that DC’s source material itself contains a lot of material ripe for horror fans. The comics are generally heading into much darker territory than Marvel, as evidenced by iconic horror-adjacent characters like Scarecrow – a villain whose entire shtick is literally focused on fear – and even the Joker. In fact, fans already have plenty of evidence that DC’s spooky content can be a real hit. Video games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum already contain some gruesome elements, like the infamous Morgue Sequence. All of this suggests that a horror entry into the DCEU has all the makings of a potential success. With someone as well versed in the genre as Wan at the helm, the end result could be truly spectacular.
What makes Wan’s relationship with horror so compelling is his obvious passion for the genre. Perhaps what is most impressive about his career so far is his willingness to return to creepy subjects time and time again, each time with a new and original twist. DC’s wealth of terrifying source material suggests that there would be plenty of inspiration there, if Wan were to rise to the challenge. While Aquaman 2 remains an exciting prospect given the success of the first film, a Wan-led DCEU horror film would ultimately give fans something truly unique. With its track record of success, this is something everyone should welcome.
More: What Aquaman 2’s Title Reveals About The Sequel’s Story
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release Date: December 16, 2022
- The Batman (2022)Release date: 04 March 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release Date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release Date: Jul 29, 2022
- Lightning (2022)Release date: November 04, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: June 02, 2023
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