Peter Jackson Turned Down Directing Aquaman Twice

Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies director Peter Jackson had to twice turn down studio Warner Bros. when approached to direct Aquaman, the DC Comics blockbuster eventually helmed by James Wan.

“[Former Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara] said, ‘Are you a fan of Aquaman?’ I said, ‘No.’ Six months later: ‘Peter, are you a fan of Aquaman?’ I said, ’No, Kevin, I already told you this’,” Jackson told Empire Magazine.

“I’m not a superhero guy. I read Tintin… Look, films are hard. I only want to make something that I have a deep passion for.”

Jackson is instead preoccupied with directing and producing documentaries, first crafting World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, featuring restored, never-before-seen footage in color, and an upcoming documentary centered around The Beatles.

“I don’t really anticipate making another theatrical film for a year or two,” Jackson said.

Last May, rumors claimed Jackson was “considering” a DC Comics movie.

Aquaman would go on to win Warner Bros. a $1.14 billion global haul and be crowned the first film out of the DC Extended Universe, launched in 2013, to reach the milestone and the first DC Comics-inspired film to earn more than a billion since 2012’s Christopher Nolan-directed The Dark Knight Rises. The studio has since dated the Aquaman sequel for December 16, 2022.

“[DC Films chief Walter Hamada], myself and James Wan always shared the same philosophy, which is: you want to do it right,” producer Peter Safran told THR of the four-year separation between Aquaman entries. “You don’t want to do it fast. You just want to do it right.”

Wan is being courted by Warners to return but is not yet confirmed for the followup, to again star Jason Momoa as the titular aquatic superhero and Amber Heard as Mera.

“I mean, liking the people I work with goes a long way,” Wan told ComicBook.com when asked if he’s interested in pursuing a sequel.

“That was the reason why I came back when I did Insidious 2. But it’s a weird one for me, because I actually don’t know what I want to do next for the first time in my career. I felt like Aquaman ticked a lot of boxes for me.”

After 2015’s Furious 7, Wan wanted “to do another action movie ... I wanted to do a world creation film, and I wanted to do a superhero movie, and Aquaman literally ticked all of those boxes for me.”

“And so right now, I’m in that sort of place of like do I kind of go back and do a smaller movie maybe as my next one, something a bit more intimate?” Wan said. “Or if I can do a personal movie, but maybe it’s on a bigger scale. I’m not sure at this point.”

Aquaman 2 surfaces December 16, 2022.

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