Mud and Midnight Special Director Jeff Nichols Explains Why He Turned Down Aquaman

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

With huge buzz coming off the success of Mud, director Jeff Nichols was being courted all over Hollywood last year, just as Warner Bros. was starting to put their DC Extended Universe slate together in earnest.

So, of course, he took some meetings with the studio and was apparently being considered for the Aquaman gig which ultimately went to Furious 7 filmmaker James Wan.

Why didn't he take the gig? Apparently, he couldn't see himself working within the restrictions Warners had in place for the DC movies, which have to interact with one another to created the "shared universe" feel expected from superhero films nowadays.

Comparing the idea of working in the DC Universe to his new film, Midnight Special, Nichols said he found the latter more appealing.

"The trick with Midnight Special is even though it was made at the studio, they gave me a lot of control over the process," Nichols said in an interview. "And I don’t just mean control over final cut, but it felt like we were making one of my movies. I had my team. I had my family there. My crew. We made the movie we all wanted to make. With the DC universe, so many parts of it had been activated and so many decisions had already been made that it felt more and more — and Warner Bros. agreed — that it was me trying to jump on a moving train. That’s not so much what I’m good at. I’m more of a ground up kinda guy."

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He added that he's a big comic book fan, so while he didn't want to work in that environment, he actually believes that the films should be interconnected and well-planned.

Aquaman will be in theaters in 2018.