Marvel has been a model franchise over the past decade. The studio has launched dozens of films and grossed almost $7 billion in ticket sales alone since releasing Iron Man back in 2008. But there is one element of Marvel’s success that impresses DC Comics director James Wan the most.
In promotion for his upcoming movie, Aquaman, Wan opened up about his rival’s biggest success — and his answer is not what you might expect. When asked about bringing difficult characters to life on the big screen — like DC’s Aquaman — Wan admitted that Marvel should be most proud about making Thor and Captain America accessible to audiences, especially those in overseas markets.
— The Aquaman Shrine (@AquamanShrine) October 2, 2018
“The moment you can make a character called Captain America work in Russia and China, then anything is possible,” Wan explained.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Captain America: Civil War broke the record for the biggest opening in the history of China’s box office. While Marvel has a lot to be proud of over the years, Wan might be right.
Making a patriotic character like Captain America popular outside of the United States is quite the feat. That said, Marvel has changed the titles of its movies to fit better in different markets. In Russia, for instance, Captain America: Winter Soldier was turned into The First Avenger: The Other War.
Aside from Marvel’s success, Wan talked a little about why he decided to direct a movie for DC. The director confessed that the only reason he took the job was because the studio gave him complete freedom when it came to telling the story of Aquaman.
Although the film will fit into the larger scope of the DC Universe, Wan was able to put a unique spin on the character and make the story his own. At the end of the day, DC and Warner Bros. were “respectful” about Wan’s creative decisions, which is ultimately why he agreed to do the project.
Aquaman is scheduled to premiere in theaters around the world on December 21. Wan did not discuss any plot details, though we do know the movie will explore some of the origins of the character and how he got his powers.
The film stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard (Mera), Patrick Wilson (Orm Marius), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta), William Defoe (Nuidis Vulko), Dolph Lundgren (Nereus), Nicole Kidman (Queen Atlanna), and Temuera Morrison (Thomas Curry).