‘Aquaman’ Movie Director James Wan Might Leave Crumbling DC Movie Universe

The Aquaman Movie might soon be seeking a new director. Rumors are swirling that James Wan may depart. The Aquaman movie might soon follow behind The Flash movie’s change of leadership. The DC cinematic universe is experiencing a crisis of confidence. Not only are directors hesitating to take charge of films, but producer Warner Bros. is no longer trusting Zack Snyder’s vision for the Justice League-related films. The erosion of confidence comes after Batman v Superman‘s performance disappointed Warner execs. That leaves DC movie fans wondering if DC will even cancel some of the planned movies.

James Wan, who directed last year’s Furious 7 and this summer’s The Conjuring 2, is rumored by Birth.Movies.Death to be feeling the brewing inner turmoil and panicking at Warner Bros. is too much for him to want to be involved. He’s deciding if he really wants to be involved or just be content with his other Warner Bros. movies, including a film he’s helping to produce, Lights Out. Though Wan has not responded to the rumors, he did leave a very telling photo post on social media. He’s leaning against a giant mural depiction of comic book Aquaman, seemingly suggesting that he is alright with Aquaman.

But before the upcoming Aquaman movie seemed set for rough waters, The Flash movie director Seth Grahame-Smith departed his DC movie duties. Both Wan and Grahame-Smith are known for their horror work, so if Warner Bros. is looking for something with a much lighter tone than Batman v Superman, which was one of the major criticisms, these two may not be the best directors for the job anyway. It doesn’t mean that Wan and Grahame-Smith haven’t both demonstrated diversity and capability in their careers, but Warner Bros. is very cautious right now, and are reportedly taking a more vigilant approach while they try to gain back fan confidence.

Despite the down and dreary mood hovering around the future of DC movies, on the upside, people are looking forward to the Batman solo movie with Ben Affleck’s newly reinvented version. As Warner Bros. removes their trust from Zack Snyder, they place more in Ben Affleck. As Cinema Blend reports, they will allow him complete creative control. Batman will make an appearance in Suicide Squad, though it’s not clear for how big of a role. Batman will also potentially be in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, which makes sense if you look at how Batman v Superman ended. Even if he’s not in it, a Wayne Enterprises truck has been spotted on set.

Despite the complaints that Batman v Superman was too dark, Suicide Squad is potentially even darker. But it’s a movie about a group of villains, so judgements will weigh differently than with Batman and Superman’s movie dance. After Suicide Squad‘s summer release, Wonder Woman will come out next, in the summer of 2017. The movie will mostly be set in the past, showing Wonder Woman’s mythic origins as a goddess — but it might venture into the present day in order to connect it to the larger Justice League storyline. The Flash movie is supposed to emerge in March, 2018.

The Aquaman movie follows after The Flash. Aquaman should see a summer 2018 release. The Ben Affleck Batman movie doesn’t yet have a release date, but for Warner Bros. the sooner it comes out the better. Ben Affleck’s Batman depiction was widely praised, despite everything else. But Warner Bros. is in a state of panic all stemming from Batman v Superman‘s reception, despite the fact that the movie has broken box office records, and even performed better than a lot of the earlier Marvel movies. But Warner Bros.’ response reflects their extremely high expectations.

Aquaman movie director James Wan is likely not looking forward to increased scrutiny by Warner Bros. execs as he crafts his superhero movie symphony.

[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Film District]