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– by Brian Jasper

The internet wants you to believe the DCEU is dead, but it said the same thing about Four Loko and I’ve got a six pack in my basement right now. Aquaman is set to start filming and it’s bringing 160 million cool ones to the Australian island of North Stradbroke, and with that money comes a lot of hope. First, there’s the hope that ol’ Straddie, as the locals call it, can continue to be a destination for blockbuster filmmaking (the last Pirates of the Caribbean film was shot there). Then there’s the hope that a movie about a dude who lives under the water and fights several other underwater guys can keep the DCEU afloat (See what I did there?).

I don’t know about ol’ Straddie, but Warner Bros. seems to be in complete disarray. The DCEU was originally envisioned as a competitor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was going to be helmed by visionary director and producer Zack Snyder. Then Batman v Superman was released and Warner Bros. execs choked like a millennial trying Werther’s Original for the first time. That was followed up by a stylish but terrible Suicide Squad movie. It wasn’t until this year’s Wonder Woman that WB’s producers saw some light.

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Amazon warrior that everyone loves to know has saved the future of the DCEU, but Justice League is looming and I get the distinct impression that execs are nervous. But Aquaman is still being made, and its budget is at least one good sign. Though Batman v Superman was filmed for $250 million and Suicide Squad cost $175 million, it was the lowest budgeted of the three, Wonder Woman at $149 million, which really set fans’ hearts ablaze.

Despite what many special effects directors will tell you, a lower budget actually encourages filmmakers to be more creative. CGI has long been deemed the expensive “cure all” of storytelling. Plot holes? Throw a cool, awe-inducing monster in there with special effects. In Batman v Superman, at least a giant chunk of that $250 million went toward the completely unnecessary Doomsday battle at the end. In Wonder Woman, the parts of the movie that really resonated with viewers – Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor’s bonding, the trench battle, and the city fight – had much more impact and much less CGI than her final showdown with archvillain Ares.

Aquaman at $160 million is more inline with current “first solo movie” superhero films. Given that much of the action will likely be underwater, perhaps we can hope, just hope, that the budget is spent on cool watery SFX and not on CGI boss battles fought at a mind-numbing distance.

What are your thoughts on all this? Hit me up on Twitter at @LRM_Brian or down in the comments below!

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SOURCE: Redland City Bulletin