Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher in Justice League. (Photo via Warner Bros.)
The new Justice League movie is on its way this year, and Warner Bros. is fully committed to making its movie universe a legitimate competitor to Marvel. While it remains to be seen whether Zack Snyder’s third film in the series can actually accomplish that, the burden is shared by the much better-looking Wonder Woman and the surprisingly exciting Aquaman. Warner Bros. is hoping to expand their universe even more by bringing virtual reality into the mix.
According to a press release on PR Newswire, Warner Bros. is creating original VR tie-in experiences for the new VR centers IMAX is experimenting with. The company has already opened one VR center in Los Angeles, and plan to open more in New York City, the United Kingdom, Shanghai and at least one more California location. The idea is you would go to one of these centers and sit in VR pods that would let you move around a virtual environment. The hope is that IMAX’s tech would work better (and come with less sticker shock) than current home VR setups.
The first tie-in experience will appear alongside Justice League, with Warner Bros. developing at least two more in the future. One will be released with Aquaman, and the other would be tied to a future DC adaptation not yet named. What could that be? The Flash would be cool in VR, but I’d worry about the potential for motion sickness when you’re moving that fast.
Whatever the future of the DCEU, superheroes are great showcases for VR technology. When you can feel like you’re flying alongside Superman, it doesn’t seem to matter how much his last movie disappointed you. I got to try the Avengers: Age of Ultron VR demo at a comic con a couple of years back, and despite being a limited experience on a consumer headset, it was still more memorable than most of the actual movie. Standing next to a life-size superhero is just cool, no matter what you thought of the source material. We’ll have to wait until later this year to see what these VR experiences are actually like, but it’s not a stretch to imagine them becoming the most fun thing about the DCEU.
Virtual Reality isn’t the only thing that could make the DC movies fun. Actor Patrick Wilson has been talking up his role in the upcoming Aquaman movie. Given that Aquaman was one of the best parts of the last Justice League trailer, expectations for his solo flick are suddenly high. After The Hollywood Reporter tweeted an article asking why superhero villains are often faceless, Wilson fired back a short, teasing response.
@creepypuppet is Aquaman director James Wan, who was also behind Furious 7,Insidious, and Saw. Wilson’s tweet appears to hint that Aquaman‘s villain will be a full fleshed out character in his own right. That only makes sense, given who Wilson is playing. Sure, he has every reason to talk up his role, but you’d think he wouldn’t respond quite this way if he wasn’t at least a little confident in the movie’s ability to back it up.
Wilson will play Ocean Master a.k.a. Orm Marius, the Ocean Master. He’s Aquaman’s half-brother, meaning he also has a claim to the Atlantean throne. Since Aquaman is half-human, Orm believe’s he’s the rightful heir to the throne. This sibling rivalry has the potential to be more interesting than the one between Thor and Loki if the DCEU handles it right. (That is a big “if” right now, I know.) With both brothers having a legitimate claim to the throne, that leaves room for much stronger characterization. Though Ocean Master will undoubtedly be the villain, there’s hope that the conflict will be a little more complex than what comic book movies have given us in the past.