It's been nearly 18 years since Willem Dafoe appeared in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, a modern classic in the genre. This December, Dafoe returns for his first superhero movie in nearly two decades when Aquaman swims to theaters.
According to Dafoe, acting in Aquaman was completely different than the time he spent on set for Spider-Man, and that's something he's okay with.
"They are different. They're very different - because they have different aims," Dafoe told Cinemablend. "They're working with different materials, their working with different intentions. But that's okay!"
"I like to mix it up because that way you don't get stuck. You don't start to believe that there's only one way of doing things, and you don't start believe there's only one way of living, and you don't start to believe there's only a certain kind of film that's worth making. It keeps you loose."
In Aquaman, Dafoe plays a character by the name of Vulko. Aquaman director James Wan says his Dafoe's character plays both sides of the fence, acting as an advisor to Patrick Wilson's Orm while taking Arthur Curry on as a mentee.
"He's an advisor to King Orm, and he's also a mentor to Aquaman," Wan says. "You could look at a monitor that was filming in a greenscreen room, with all these elements covered with green fabric and all these reference points, and then you could go to the monitor and see the completed set, but in a rendering that was laid over the live scene. So that was sometimes very helpful. So when you're on this big object that's moving around on the gimbal that's supposed to be a shark - you could actually go to the monitor and see the size of the shark you're on."
Wan is a director that's very proficient in the horror film genre, best known for directing films like Saw and The Conjuring. Dafoe says Wan's directing chops in the horror genre are apparent in Aquaman.
"I wouldn't say I'm a horror movie aficionado, but I appreciate them. Those directors in particular, James Wan, when you see his horror movies, you know there is a director there and that was very appealing and evident on Aquaman," Dafoe explained.
"You see a kind of discipline, a kind of precision in viewing his films and being on set; he's very precise and aware of storytelling tricks. He knows film language, [Sam] Raimi knew film language," the actor continued.
Aquaman opens in theaters December 21st.
Other upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Wonder Woman 1984 on November 1, 2019, Shazam on April 5, 2019, Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.