Aquaman: Bye-bye DCEU and welcome to the birth of Worlds of DC


The following contains spoilers for Aquaman.

Before outlining a brief development history of Aquaman to the big screen, let me first state that I am fully aware that both terms about DC’s cinematic universe are not official and have been coined by a journalist as the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), whereas, the Worlds of DC (WODC) was introduced at San Diego Comic-Con in their DC Films segment promoting their slate of films. However, even this name of DC’s live-action shared universe of films is quite dubious as Warner Bros. neither confirmed nor denied the official designated name as WODC.

Aquaman is the sixth installment of the DCEU and the first movie post–Justice League. A couple of attempts at a potential Aquaman were being developed by Sunrise Entertainment then actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, though the project with Sunrise had fallen through and it appeared that the latter production company aligned with DiCaprio had acquired the rights from Warner Bros. with nothing much to show for it. Roughly over a year after the release of Man of Steel, Will Beal and Kurt Johnstad were hired as screenwriters to write two separate scripts for a standalone Aquaman film.

In 2015, James Wan was selected to direct and overlook the script by Johnstad. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick came onboard until it had been revealed by The Hollywood Reporter that previous drafts of the script up until that point have been scrapped. Wan and Geoff Johns moved forward with a new draft by Beall, then Johnson-McGoldrick returned to rewrite his draft. The main cast was confirmed between 2016 and early 2017, then the cameras began to roll in Australia in May 2017. The film also was shot in Canada, Italy and Morocco and wrapped filming in October 2017.

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It was confirmed that Aquaman would take place after the events of Justice League. Since Wonder Woman, they have not been done that much connectivity aside from the photo of her allies from World War I that Bruce Wayne found data on the existence of metahumans. In Aquaman, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), after he defeated Steppenwolf with Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the other heroes during the Battle of Russia, he effectively became a celebrity on news reports with hardly any mention of his previous appearances. Comic Book Resources (CBR) had mentioned it would have been decent if Wan had given exposition as to why heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman have not responded to the tidal wave.

There are moments in Aquaman, where they mention Arthur (Momoa) as more of a heroic figure of the people of Maine, Amnesty Bay and his connection to the species known as the Atlanteans. Though no mention of neither one of the allies he joined with after he faced against Steppenwolf, as director Wan, has insisted to personalize Arthur’s story. As he should. What did not make sense is how a young Arthur, played by Kaan Guldur, was able to remain hidden once his abilities begun to manifest in front of the crowd at the aquarium in Massachusetts.

It is unknown when agencies of the government, i.e. the CIA, NSA and A.R.G.U.S. (Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans) started monitoring Arthur or if they had become involved within covering up some of his activities. Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) seems to be very much aware of his existence.

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It seems the general consensus so far is positive to a mixed reception from fans. The film has grossed over $759 million worldwide more than quadruple its production budget, with its marketing budget making it approximate $300 million. While CBR has called this a soft reboot, is it actually a fresh start or merely just a step in the right direction away from the old regime?Although, there are still those who are fans that still refer to this franchise as the DCEU, whatever they call this shared-universe, let us see what the movie Shazam! has to offer next.