Aquaman will open with Nicole Kidman's Atlanna being established as a character not to be messed with -- an important action sequence which was nothing but fun for director James Wan to craft with the renowned actress.
While visiting the edit bay of Aquaman where Wan is hard at work on his DC Comics movie, ComicBook.com saw Atlanna in action. The Atlantean queen makes quick, acrobatic work of soldiers invading a house in which she has found love to open the film. Topping it off, th sequence is all captured through an impressive continuous shot crafted by Wan.
"Nicole and I have been wanting to work together for a while now and so when this project came along it just felt like, 'Oh I've gotta give Nicole a shot,'" Wan said. "There's no one more perfect to play the queen of Atlantis but, Nicole Kidman, she literally was at the top of my list and luckily we were able to get her to come play with us and I think she's fantastic. She's such a great actress and the gravitas and the emotion she brings to the film is just so valuable. And, yes, I've always wanted to see Nicole in a kick ass role as well just like has been brought up."
Kidman, an actress who has never been associated with highly-choreographed action-heavy roles, will surely stun audiences (surely, with a bit of help from a stunt team) throughout Aquaman. "She really enjoyed all that stuff," Wan says. "That sequence with her was a really hard sequence to shoot because...it's a one take shot watching the character just jumping, flipping, and all that.
In fact, Kidman's Atlanna uses about every piece of furniture in her house as a means to be both offensive and defensive with heavily armored and armed soldiers from below sea level hunting her. "The way we did it was we removed the ceiling of the set and we had spidercam just on wires zip all over the set from one character to another character as the character goes around beating up the soldiers," Wan said. "And it was very technically challenging to try to get that all done but I just thought that was a great way to show how strong the character is but without sort of cutting it up. And it was actually a really fun thing to shoot. Took two days to shoot that shot. Many takes."
While Wan won't quite reveal the capacity of Kidman's role in the film, he does admit she is crucial to the titular hero's journey. "The love story between her and [Arthur's father] is the emotional backbone for the movie and how it informs Arthur's character and his journey and sort of his bitter outlook on the world of Atlantis," Wan said. "He blames them for something that happens to her and it shapes his point of view."
Many fans have their sights set on a love story between Arthur Curry and Mera. However, they will come to find out that this is merely a reflection of the love story which is truly driving Aquaman's narrative emotionally. "It's not just a love story between Arthur and Mera, it's a love story of mom and dad and how even though they have nothing in common so to speak -- she's the queen of Atlantis and he's a lighthouse keeper, a surface dweller -- but the love that they have for each other is what creates this boy," Wan said. "That will grow up to become Aquaman."
"It's a very classic romance adventure story," Wan said. "It's first and foremost that, I think, more than it is a superhero story."
Aquaman is set for releasse on December 21, 2018.