Ever since James Wan stepped in to shoulder some of the Justice League world-building for Zack Snyder (who’s currently busy re-reading The Fountainhead and spouting some specious logic), we’ve wondered how the Furious 7 and The Conjuring director would imbue an Aquaman movie with the gravitas that’s part and parcel of the the story of the underwater Doctor Dolittle who’s easily DC Comics’ most respected superhero. (Did we say “respected”? We meant “risible.”) Well, Wan recently met the speculation head-on at WonderCon, telling IGN about his intention to have fun with Aquaman—and not just at the hero’s expense, for a change.

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As producer Charles Roven previously noted, Aquaman will not be an origin story, so we’ll miss out on watching a pubescent Arthur Curry discovering gills where there were no gills before. Wan couldn’t reveal any plot details, but he did say that his film will acknowledge the inherent “bad-ass” nature of the Atlantean king, who’s had a long history of being mocked by comic-book fans and anyone who doesn’t grasp how cool it is to be a merman. But rather than reimagine Aquaman as a dour middle-aged billionaire or a humorless super-powered alien, Wan will try to give his lead character, to be played with squid-ink-tatted semi-seriousness by Jason Momoa, more than a single character trait.