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Jeff Nichols Turned Down Opportunity to Direct AQUAMAN, Here’s Why

James Wan is set to direct the Aquaman movie for Warner Bros., but before he landed the gig, several other directors were considered. Among these was Jeff Nichols, whose credits include Take Shelter and next week’s Midnight Special. Nichols’ potential involvement was actually leaked during the infamous “Sony Hack” ordeal in December 2014.

As we now know, though, Nichols is not directing Aquaman. Why? The filmmaker opens up about his discussions with WB in an interview with Screen Crush. Nichols, who mostly directs indie films, admits that he wants to have plenty of control over the movies that he makes. But that’s tricky when it comes to working within a multi-film cinematic universe. “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.”


The creative team behind the DC Extended Universe, including director Zack Snyder, have made it clear that directors will have plenty of freedom while working with these characters, even in a massive, single universe. However, the very concept of a cinematic universe will always be restricting in at least some ways to certain filmmakers, who want as much control over their movies as possible. And Nichols seemingly feels this way.

Nichols then confirms that he is “not really” interested in tackling another DC character, due to how connected these movies are. “The decisions that Zack is going to make in Batman vs. Superman, those all connect to things that are going to happen in Justice League and all that. And I was a huge comic book nerd, so I know all these characters and they all need to be beautifully webbed together. I was just far enough on the outside that I could develop things in a vacuum all day long but it wasn’t going to line up with everything they had planned.”


What do you think of Nichols’ comments? Would you have liked to see his take on Aquaman, or are you happy that James Wan landed the gig?


Aquaman is set to hit theaters on July 27th, 2018.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.

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