Forget Black Manta, Water is the Real Villain of 'Aquaman' Film

Warner Bros.

Aquaman already has Black Manta and Ocean Master set as antagonists. But before the film comes out, it’ll have to contend with its real villain: water.

In an interview that went up on Thursday, Aquaman director James Wan talked to THR’s Heat Vision about the film, and he explained how difficult it is to be shooting a film that largely takes place underwater.

“It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on,” he said. “Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex. … Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff.”

This should be reassuring news to those who generally prefer practical effects to CGI, as a big part of the challenge comes from Wan’s desire to use the real actors as much as possible. “That just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this” Wan added. “So it’s not an easy shoot — but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line.”

On June 28, we got a look at Dolph Lundgren (who plays King Nereus in the film) practicing stunts for one of the film’s dry-for-wet shoots. You can guess how time-consuming it would be to get the floaty-ness of movement just right, never mind how hair and clothing is supposed to move.

For a film with such obvious challenges, it’s encouraging to see that Wan is taking the time to get it right.

Aquaman is set for a December 21, 2018 premiere.