The Oscar winning actress will be featured in an ‘unusual’ way in the upcoming Aquaman movie set to premiere this December. Director James Wan discussed some details regarding one particular action scene involving Kidman as well as revealing how it was filmed and put together.
Minor Early Spoilers Ahead:
In one of the early scenes in Aquaman, Kidman’s character of Atlanna, the queen of Atlantis, is inside a lighthouse for undisclosed reasons (you can probably figure that one out if you’ve read the comics) when she is suddenly attacked by armored soldiers. What follows is an action sequence in which Atlanna uses her skills, strength and pretty much everything within arms distance to fight back.
The sequence sounds like your typical Hollywood action fare but what’s really interesting here is when you find out that Kidman played a large role in this scene. Kidman is not well known for this type of acting but both actress and director could not resist the opportunity. Director James Wan, in an interview with ComicBook.com, had this to say about the collaborations:
“Nicole and I have been wanting to work together for a while now and so when this project came along it just felt like, ‘Oh I’ve gotta give Nicole a shot.’ There’s no one more perfect to play the queen of Atlantis but, Nicole Kidman, she literally was at the top of my list and luckily we were able to get her to come play with us and I think she’s fantastic. She’s such a great actress and the gravitas and the emotion she brings to the film is just so valuable. And, yes, I’ve always wanted to see Nicole in a kick ass role as well just like has been brought up.”
Furthermore, when discussing Kidman’s history (or lack thereof) with action sequences, James just couldn’t resist hyping up her action scene skills:
“She really enjoyed all that stuff. That sequence with her was a really hard sequence to shoot because…it’s a one take shot watching the character just jumping, flipping, and all that.”
As for the action sequences themselves, Wan had this to say about the filming the scene:
“The way we did it was we removed the ceiling of the set and we had spidercam just on wires zip all over the set from one character to another character as the character goes around beating up the soldiers. And it was very technically challenging to try to get that all done but I just thought that was a great way to show how strong the character is but without sort of cutting it up. And it was actually a really fun thing to shoot. Took two days to shoot that shot. Many takes.”
Though her action prowess is on display early on in the movie, Wan also touched on the emotional impact Atlanna will have on Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman. He had this to say:
“The love story between her and [Arthur’s father] is the emotional backbone for the movie and how it informs Arthur’s character and his journey and sort of his bitter outlook on the world of Atlantis. He blames them for something that happens to her and it shapes his point of view.”
One of the keys to creating a riveting and engaging superhero movie is to really build on the mythology of the main hero. Knowing where he/she is coming from as well what motivates them is essential to building a great character and a great story.
At its core, Aquaman is shaping up to be more than a standard superhero movie and it looks like it has been Wan’s goal all along.