Aquaman Reshoots

Jeff Nichols Discusses His Failed Aquaman Pitch

Midnight Special director Jeff Nichols has discussed his unproduced version of DC’s Aquaman.

Nichols appeared as a guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with Josh Horowitz to promote his upcoming movie The Bikeriders, starring Venom‘s Tom Hardy. During the episode, Nichols discussed his pitch for a stand-alone Aquaman movie to Warner Bros. shortly after the success of his movies Mud and Take Shelter. In retrospect, Nichols believes that his darker vision for the half-Atlantean/half-human superhero would have not been the most commercially viable.

“I still have scenes from [Aquaman] in my head that would’ve been good,” Nichols said. “They would’ve been quite different from the film that was made. It wasn’t ever feasible … I liked the older Aquaman, like when he had a harpoon for a hand. He was a fallen king and his son had died. He was in mourning.”

He continued, “Obviously, from this brief pitch, you can see it would’ve sold hundreds of dollars worth of tickets. That stuff is fun to noodle on, but we got a lot of those movies now. There are a lot of stories in the world. It’s ok to spend time time telling some other ones.”

Aquaman isn’t the only franchise Jeff Nichols almost joined

Nichols was one of several directors considered for Aquaman. Others included Mad Max’s George Miller and Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson. After talks with Warner Bros. fell apart, the studio went forward with James Wan directing Jason Momoa in the title role. Released in December 2018, Aquaman raked in $1 billion worldwide and was met with mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.

Nichols continued to enjoy artistic success in Hollywood with such critically acclaimed movies as Loving and Midnight Special. At one point, Nichols was attached to direct a reboot of the cult 1988 sci-fi thriller Alien Nation. While that project did not come to fruition, Nichols revealed he plans to retool his script into an original story for Paramount without the Alien Nation IP once the ongoing writers’ strike comes to an end.

Aquaman’s story will continue when Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in theaters on December 20.