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Willem Dafoe on the complicated nature of Aquaman's "underwater" shoot

08.18.2017

Willem Dafoe Aquaman Jason Momoa

As talented as the cast of AQUAMAN are, it'd be a little difficult to ask them to spend the majority of the shoot underwater, what with all the breathing we humans do. In order to properly sell the illusion of an underwater kingdom and the Atlanteans who inhabit it, a variety of techniques were used for AQUAMAN, including shooting dry-for-wet with the actors suspended by harnesses. Willem Dafoe, who plays Nuidis Vulko, Aquaman's (Jason Momoa) chief scientific adviser, spoke with ScreenCrush recently and gave a short rundown of the complicated nature of AQUAMAN's production.

Most of my scenes are underwater. Some are not. So much of it, because we’re talking, and shooting underwater is a lot of ways impractical because you’re limited to what you can do with sets. It’s more about shooting them dry for wet, and then the effects do certain things to give the water feel. But we aren’t doing the scenes underwater, but we are in harnesses and on wires. There is movement. It’s not like were all sitting around pretending were underwater like this [stands up still], we’re swimming around, we’re moving. So that should be really beautiful.

Zack Snyder shared a brief look at the technique earlier this year, as it will also be used in the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE, and the results should be quite something on the big-screen. We'll also be getting our first look at Willem Dafoe as Vulko in JUSTICE LEAGUE, but Dafoe adds that the character won't be quite as he is in the comics, saying "There’s been some adjustments. Not even adjustments – it’s like anything, you use the source material and something is born from that. But I don’t really look like he does in the comic, and his role is slightly different. He is an advisor, but he’s also sort of a mentor to Aquaman."

Throughout his history, the character of Aquaman hasn't always been treated with the most respect by the general public, who generally think of the Super Friends incarnation of Aquaman, but director James Wan recently said that the upcoming film will go a long way to removing any stigma of the character. "Momoa is not a guy that you would go up to and make fun of. I really think you immediately remove any of the stigma of the character from the cartoons that we are familiar with," said Wan. "Having said that, I’m not completely unaware of the stigma, if anything, I embrace it and being able to laugh at yourself and have fun at yourself is important and that’s something I am aware of as I make ‘Aquaman’ right now."

AQUAMAN is set for a December 21, 2018 release, but we'll get our first real tease of the underwater world in JUSTICE LEAGUE on November 17, 2017.

Source: ScreenCrush

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