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'Midnight Special' Director Jeff Nichols on Why He Passed on Directing 'Aquaman'


With James Cameron's Aquaman all but a distant memory by now, the new Aquaman film is looking to be gritty and raw, and thankfully won't be an origin story. While Furious 7 director James Wan is signed on to direct the film, Mud and Take Shelter helmer Jeff Nichols was once in talks to direct the film, but he had a pretty good reason for turning the job down.

In an interview with Screen Crush (link below) in support of his new film Midnight Special, Nichols talks about his experience attempting to "jump on" the freight train that is the DC Cinematic Universe...

But, you now [sighs] the trick with ‘Midnight Special’ is even though it was made at the studio, they gave me a lot of control over the process. And I don’t just mean control over final cut, but it felt like we were making one of my movies. I had my team. I had my family there. My crew. We made the movie we all wanted to make. With the DC universe, so many parts of it had been activated and so many decisions had already been made that it felt more and more — and Warner Bros. agreed — that it was me trying to jump on a moving train. That’s not so much what I’m good at. I’m more of a ground up kinda guy.

Fair enough, but would he maybe want to hop on later down the track and direct a DC movie?

Not really. Because, it’s all a connected universe. And it should be. And I was an advocate of that. The decisions that Zack (Snyder) is going to make in Batman vs. Superman, those all connect to things that are going to happen in Justice League and all that. And I was a huge comic book nerd, so I know all these characters and they all need to be beautifully webbed together. I was just far enough on the outside that I could develop things in a vacuum all day long but it wasn’t going to line up with everything they had planned.

You know what, more power to him. So many directors—I'm looking at you Colin Trevorrow—jump into these gigantic franchises too soon in their careers, so it's nice to see a guy just say fuck it. I wonder if Nichols' frequent collaborator and friend Michael Shannon maybe told him not to get involved as well. Who knows? 

Via Screen Crush

Steve attanasie

Steve Attanasie

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