Aquaman movie snags Furious Seven director

The film that will bring DC Comics’ king of the seas to the big screen has found its director, and he’s no stranger to superhero-sized action.

Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that Furious Seven and The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan will direct the upcoming solo film featuring Aquaman, due to hit theaters in 2018. The film will feature Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa as Aquaman, who’s expected to make his debut as the character in next year’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“We’ve been so lucky to have worked with James, first on New Line’s The Conjuring and now on their upcoming The Conjuring 2,” said Greg Silverman, WB’s President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “And [we] are thrilled to have him on board as we continue to expand our DC slate. The Aquaman film will be a major tentpole picture for us and James’ span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material.”

Wan initially made a name for himself in Hollywood with a string of successful horror movies, including the original Saw in 2004, as well as 2010’s Insidious and the aforementioned 2013 film The Conjuring. However, it was this year’s action-fueled Furious Seven — which has earned more than $1.5 billion worldwide and currently ranks as the fourth highest-grossing film of all time — that likely vaulted him to the top of the studio’s list of potential directors.

Hitting theaters at the mid-point between Justice League: Part One in 2017 and Justice League: Part Two in 2019, Aquaman is based on a script currently being penned by 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire writer, Kurt Johnstad. Wan will supervise the script’s development in addition to directing the film.

“James is not only a great storyteller but can make action truly explode on the big screen,” said producer Charles Roven. “And Jason has a dynamic presence that commands your attention. Together, they will bring an undeniable vitality and energy to this character as he headlines his first feature film.”

A founding member of the Justice League in the DC Comics universe, Aquaman was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger and made his debut in a 1941 issue of More Fun Comics. Although his background story has changed over the years, his history typically pegs him as the heir to the throne of Atlantis and the child of a human father and Atlantean mother. This shared DNA allows him to live both underwater and on dry land, and gives him superhuman strength out of the water (due to the undersea pressure his body is able to handle). He’s also able to telepathically communicate — and in many cases, command — aquatic creatures.

Thus far, Aquaman’s live-action, on-screen appearances have been limited to a role in the Smallville television series and the never-aired pilot for a solo series titled Mercy Reef.

Aquaman hits theaters July 27, 2018.