Willem Dafoe is one of the most compelling and celebrated character actors of his time, which is what makes him a perfect fit to play a variety of villainous roles. The actor's first foray into the world of superheroes came as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man in 2002, with his next entry being in Aquaman, an experience which he found similar to his work with director Sam Raimi on the Marvel film 15 years ago.
"James Wan and Sam Raimi are both personal filmmakers," Dafoe told Variety. "They really have a strong personal stamp. They both have a good sense of play. They come from the handmade world and they come from the horror world, and the beautiful thing about horror movies is the film language is very rich, because you can get away with it. There's a fantastical quality but you can also make a popular movie because it's a very accessible genre."
Prior to Spider-Man, Raimi made a name for himself in the horror world with the Evil Dead trilogy featuring demonic creatures descending on a cabin in the woods. In 1990, the director dipped his toes into the world of superheroics with Darkman, about a scientist seeking revenge on a mobster who attacked his laboratory. The film came as a result of Raimi's difficulties securing the opportunity to direct a film inspired by Batman or The Shadow, causing the creation of his own superhero.
Wan's career kicked off with the low-budget horror Saw, which has seen seven sequels since its debut in 2004. Wan kept the horror trend by directing films like Insidious and The Conjuring, eventually making the jump to big-budget action with Furious 7. Thanks to that film's more than $1.5 billion worldwide gross, Wan proved his skills of multiple genres, leading to accepting the reins for Aquaman.
Unfortunately, all eyes are on the upcoming Aquaman movie following the underwhelming performance of this past weekend's Justice League. That film saw the debut of Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, but a highly-edited final product resulted in a lack of character development for the character, as well as a rumored appearance by Dafoe getting scrapped.
Aquaman is slated to hit theaters on December 21, 2018.