As of the time of this post, Aquaman made $1.1 billion at the global box office and is officially the most successful DC / WB movie ever. Naturally, Walter Hamada and his cracked team of learned non-comic aficionados went to James Wan with hat-in-hand Oliver Twist-style chanting, “Please sir. I want some more.”
Many of the dirty old men and horny young nerds began clamoring for a Mera origin movie the moment the credits were done rolling. And, that wasn’t a bad assumption. We all knew there would be some capitalization on the King of Atlantis’ success but this?!
The Trench Opens
Just look at that thing?!
Don’t act like when Arthur Curry made his way to the deepest parts of the Seven Seas that this wasn’t one of the most entertaining parts of the movie. It was one of the most canonically pure moments too. Those cannibalistic, regressed Atlanteans look just how they were made.
And they were awesome.
According to the report, Warner Bros hired “Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald to pen a horror-tinged script centered on the Trench, the deadly amphibious creatures seen attacking the hero and his love, Mera, in Aquaman.”
Good news. Bad news.
GOOD: James Wan and Peter Safran will produce the project, titled The Trench. It won’t have the summer blockbuster budget as its progenitor but the minds behind the magic are there.
BAD: “Details of the take are being kept submerged but it will be set in the kingdom of the Trench and will not feature the main cast of Aquaman.”
The Trench Deepens
Knowing all of that–no “main cast,” no Mera origin, no big budget. This is still a great idea for DC Comics. Here are five simple reasons why:
James Wan has several signatures that has made him one of the preeminent movie makers of our generation. Among them is his uncanny ability to make a mountain out of a molehill. Blumhouse Productions and Wan have made an exquisite art out of making highly profitable movies out of a pauper’s budget. There’s not a big budget here, but as we have seen on James’ coins from what he doles out at movies, “In Wan We Trust.”
The Trench is actually a new concoction of DC Comics, first appearing in Aquaman #1, vol. 7. Would it surprise you to know one Geoff Johns created the Trench in 2011? Think about all the horror movies creating input there. Imagine all the sardonic influences that influenced these mash-ups of piranhas and Xenomorphs on steroids. We call that “Cool.” In movies, they call that “untapped potential.”
The first time most DC fans ever heard of the Trench was in the Aquaman film. Who brought it to you? Geoff Johns (creator) and James Wan (visionary). And those two are back for the spinoff. If you know football, you’ll understand this analogy. If you don’t, ask your sister’s boyfriend. Bill Belichick is the GOAT of football coaches. He had very few constants winning six super bowls. His team was practically a revolving door, but they kept winning because he was at the helm. For The Trench, James Wan and Geoff Johns are at the helm. Sounds like a touchdown to me.
Who would have thought a scene in a CBM gave you the creeps, but if any scene could qualify, it was this. Imagine being in the dank abyss of the ocean and those freaks show up all around you. The only safety net you have is the bubble from a flare…and you’re about to jump in the water. James Wan is the standard bearer of horror and he just made more than $1 billion on a comic movie. So, he mashes up the two in a spinoff. You think for a minute he won’t absolutely crush this thing?! A comic horror movie?! C’mon.
In the Snyder era, DC was always considered “dark.” The movies were usually seen as “drawn-out.” Never mind, there was always a method to that madness, but now, DCEU is dead. There will be no “universal plan” for its characters, but that doesn’t mean there’s no plan at all. Let’s see… DC Comics + Dark. What do we know about DC Comics? Justice League.
So… Justice League + DARK?!
HYPOTHESIS: DC fans have been clamoring for a particular movie with a specific vision (usually Guillermo del Toro’s name is in the blank) of a certain comic. Maybe The Trench is the beta test to see if an audience really will go more than once to a DC Comics horror flick making it at least $800 million? If we believe in all those signs, we may get a gift sooner than we realize.
Just a thought. Just a hint too.