James Wan is aiming to craft an epic fantasy film with his Aquaman movie, with as much being evident during ComicBook.com's visit to his edit bay.
Earlier in September, Wan showed off a trio of clips from the upcoming DC Comics movie starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. After opening up the visit with the same footage shown at San Diego Comic Con, Wan enthusiastically displayed sequences from various parts of the film. Some of the footage was incomplete, the director warned, as visual effects and audio composition continues to be a work in progress.
Spoilers follow as the three new scenes from Aquaman are detailed below!
During a storm in Amnesty Bay in 1985, Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis washes ashore. Momoa's Arthur Curry narrates the film, informing the audience of his family's history.
Upon a closer look, Atlanna is revealed to have a gash on her side. This is where Arthur's father finds her, before bringing her home to offer help. When she arrives, the power goes out. Later, though, she wakes up startled by the sound of the television, so she launches her quindent straight through it. She is, almost literally, a fish out of water.
"Life, like the sea, has a way of bringing people together," Arthur says.
She has some off-putting interactions with John (the lighthouse keeper)'s dog and fish bowl but it comes to be revealed she fled a marriage while searching for something. Instead, she found love with John, which is what lead to Arthur's birth.
Arthur grows up hearing stories of Atlantis, understanding that one day a new king will come to Atlantis.
Suddenly, though, soldiers from underwater burst in to the house through a wall. In a continuous shot, Atlanna uses her quindent to fight them off. The house furniture becomes both barriers and weapons, many of which get destroyed in the mayhem.
Although she wins the fight, Atlanna decides she must return to Atlantis because these enemies won't stop coming and it will put John and Arthur at risk. Each day, John returns to the pier where he said goodbye to her, hoping she will return to him.
After the opening sequence concludes, the film jumps ahead in time to a sequence at the Boston Aquarium, where Arthur appears to discover his ability of communicating with underwater creatures.
In Atlantis, a location filled with orange and blue glows, Mera pleads with Orm to stop what he is doing. He won't, though, citing the fact that his mother isn't here, before Mera is escorted by Vulko to Atlantis' equivalent to a box seat in their gladiatorial arena.
Ahead of their fight, Arthur arrives beneath the arena with Orm. Orm jets up above him, though, preventing Arthur from sending the message he was hoping to deliver: Orm is a d---. Orm reveals a plan to bring the "wrath of the seven seas" to land to payback land dwellers for their pollution and selfish negligence.
As Arthur preps for battle, Orm rallies the entire arena and its fans. It is clear that the Atlantean people are in his corner and support his cause. If it wasn't, it became more transparent when Arthur was greeted by rousing boos.
The scene is detailed by an octopus playing the drums, giant jellyfish floating nearby offering a compelling lighting scheme, and detailed Atlantean civilians enjoying the battle. While Arthur will fight with his mother's quindent, Orm has his father's weapon. A fight ensues with the two zipping through the water, pounding each other back and forth, moving as though they were flying.
After colliding head on, a massive explosion booms through the arena, causing a silent pause before the crowd erupts with cheers. Ultimately, the fight takes the two competitors out of the arena, where Orm bests Arthur and breaks his Quindent. As he is about to finish him, Mera interferes despite Arthur's wishes, forcing an opening under the water with air which causes Orm to lose his breathe and start coughing up water.
In a sequence from the second act of Aquaman, Arthur is found sleeping on a plane high above a desert. This desert, which resembles the Sahara with tall sand dunes, was once a part of Atlantis. The pilot is startled when Mera, followed by Arthur, jumps from the plane without a parachute.
One after the other, the two characters land in the sand with the sound of missiles crashing into the ground accompanying their impact. The two bicker during their journey through the desert with touches of campy lines being spewed from Arthur's mouth. As his negativity regarding the search arises, he stumbles upon an opening in the sand dunes and falls in.
Inside, there are several Atlantean statues and relics surrounding the two characters, until they discover a hologram of their late king. It required water to activate, which Arthur thinks could have been solved by peeing on it, but Mera pulls water from Arthur's head using her aquakinetic powers, claiming he was the closest source.
The king's hologram instructs Arthur to find the trident, just before he smashes the message. Mera would have liked to hear the message again, listening more carefully and perhaps writing down the instructions, but Arthur didn't find it necessary.
With Arthur Curry's sense of humor, portrayed as a dry wit from Momoa, on display, Wan promises this side of the character will be thoroughly on display throughout Aquaman.
"You will definitely see more of it with the stuff that I'm going to show coming up, and I think it was important very early on when I met with Jason Momoa, and just seeing how likable the guy actually is in person," Wan said. "How charismatic, and how funny and goofy he is. And right off the start, I just wanted to bring a lot of his own personality into his character. I didn't want to make a whole movie where he's heavy, and moody, and stuff like that. That's not the movie I wanted to make, so just digging into Jason, and getting that out of him was very important. His personality plays really strongly throughout this whole film. I really want to lean into who he is, and make this character kind of synonymous to him. And a lot of the humor definitely comes from what he's like."