Whilst one director congratulating another – even if they do stand on opposing sides of the superhero pantheon – perhaps isn’t too surprising, the development is somewhat more significant given reports earlier in the year that James Wan was looking to exit the production of Aquaman. The rumors came in the wake of both the mixed reaction to Batman V. Superman and the ongoing director issues with The Flash and were swiftly denied by Wan himself.
With fellow Blumhouse graduate Derrickson showing how to effectively make the step-up from, as Wan puts it, “low budget horror to tent pole”, and the Saw director himself openly claiming to emulate Derrickson, it’s possible that any misgivings he may have had about tackling Aquaman have been assuaged by the success of his colleague’s first foray into superhero territory.
With that said, it’s possible that some of the more partisan participants in the Marvel/DC rivalry could interpret Wan’s comments – added to the previous Aquaman exit rumors – as an indication that the director is looking to jump ship on the relatively less successful DCEU and head on over to Marvel for a job on one of their many upcoming features. It’s far more likely, however, that Wan was simply paying tribute to a respected fellow filmmaker.