Imagine you're James Wan. The last film you directed, Furious 7 (2015), currently stands as the fourth highest grossing film of all time. Soon enough it'll overtake The Avengers (2012) in third place. Not only that, but you're about to begin production on The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, the sequel to your last huge hit that will likely be even more successful. You can do practically anything you want at this point, get any weird, idiosyncratic project off the ground while sitting atop your own Great Pyramid of money. Do you chase that? Of course not! You sign on to direct a film about the lamest superhero this side of Matter-Eater Lad and take orders from Zack Snyder, that's what you do. Yes, the week's biggest news was that, following months of speculation, James Wan has o-fish-ially (I apologise for nothing) agreed to direct the adaptation of DC Comics' Aquaman for Warner Bros, due 2018.

Wan's recruitment will certainly add a veneer of credibility to the project, even if it still feels like Warner Bros is jumping the shark. I mean, their whole approach is frankly all over the fucking place - and not only because Zack Snyder is masterminding it all. Last year they attempted to make waves by confirming an obscenely large slate of DC adaptations that would take them to 2020, but this was predicated on nothing more than the modest success of Man of Steel (2013) and a misplaced faith in the idea that it's possible to make money like Marvel if you simply copy their business model. The thing is, though, Marvel at least began with trepidation; they made individual films based on their most iconic characters, altered their approach based on audience response, and then had most of these pre-established, popular characters team-up in The Avengers before they took risks like Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Marvel grew their cinematic universe organically, and it's still growing today; Warner and DC are instead foisting the idea of a shared cinematic universe onto audiences, throwing a melange of popular and unknown characters into the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and hoping that's enough to sustain a slate of films including, uh, Shazam! (2019) and Cyborg (2020).

And then, of course, there's Aquaman. With Wonder Woman and Cyborg, Aquaman will have a minor role in Batman v Superman, likely an attempt on Warner's part to familiarise audiences with him before he takes a major role in the DC team-up film Justice League: Part One (2017) and eventually gets his own film. It's a foolish move, one made with little regard for audience demand and one that may leave them sleeping with the fishes - I mean, what if people generally take a disliking to the character before the Aquaman film is released? But at least they've attempted to recuperate Aquaman's beleaguered image, which may assuage such fears. While the comics typically present him as fair and lean and kind of a dweeb - the butt of all jokes - the film will star the ripped torso and flowing locks of Jason Momoa, almost as if Warner Bros' are repositioning the character as their answer to Chris Hemsworth's Thor. This much is backed up by the brief plot-synopsis provided in the press release, which describes him as the "reluctant ruler of Atlantis, caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and Atlanteans looking to lash out in revolt." Reluctant ruler? Check. Otherworldly kingdom? Check. Hot dude with long hair and a handy hitting implement? Check and check. With this in mind, maybe Aquaman won't be as pathetic as initially expected, and, now Wan is on board, we could actually get a half-enjoyable film starring the character too.

Deadline rounded off this Wantastic week (okay, I'm done now) by reporting that the in-demand director is also in talks to direct a live-action adaptation of the classic anime series Robotech for Sony (who acquired the rights back in spring). The discussions seem to be in the early stages, with no word about whether Wan helming Aquaman will affect the development of Robotech if he were to accept - so substantial information about this story is pretty scarce. Still, beyond this, we enjoyed a Wantastic week not only because of James Wan, but because so many big stories broke - certainly, many of the stories that will be relegated to this week's Weekly Regurgitation could have justified top billing last week. The most eye-catching, however, was the news that Wan's Fast 7 colleague Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star in and produce a remake of John Carpenter's cult classic Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - if only because it made nerds real mad. Like Wan, Johnson can do basically anything he wants after proving that he can open a big, original film on his own with San Andreas (2015), and he seems intent on making the most of that by pitching a remake of one of his favourite films to rights-owner Fox. Thor (2011) and X-Men: First Class (2011) writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz on board for the screenplay, although nothing appears to have been done on that front yet, and Johnson will produce along with his partners Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia. As this remake appears to be very early on in development, no director is attached.

Now, Johnson isn't Big Trouble's only devoted fan; the film amassed a large cult following since its original, underwhelming release back in 1986. Many of these fans will see any attempt to remake the film as sacrilege given that it's so singular. I mean, it's a fucking bizarre film; very much rooted in its time not only because of the glorious excess '80s Hollywood, but through its loving homages to the martial arts cinema that was popular at the time. Telling a story about an everyman's (Jack Burton, played by a wonderful Kurt Russell) descent into a mystical underworld beneath San Francisco's Chinatown, the film rarely coheres to its own internal logic, let alone any external real-world logic. Despite this - or perhaps because of this - Carpenter still managed to serve up the biggest bowl of fun because he managed to do things that only cinema can accomplish, and did them with a gleeful, reckless abandon. Given that Hollywood today rarely allows for such eccentricity, and that John Carpenter remakes rarely go well, I can see why people will be concerned about Big Trouble being remade. But something about The Rock gives me confidence; Jack Burton in the original was kind of bumbling and useless, and Johnson definitely has the charisma and self-awareness to pull that off - even if he does look like The Rock. Moreover, as co-producer and a fan of the original, he should be able to steer the film in the right direction. And if he doesn't? Well, we'll always have the original - which you should definitely seek out if you haven't seen.


The Weekly Regurgitation:

- The prospect of Sofia Coppola's The Little Mermaid was always a weird one, even though it's an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale rather than a live-action remake of the Disney animation, it was difficult to imagine her sensibilities translating to mainstream, major studio filmmaking. Now she's walked away from the film, apparently because of creative differences deriving from the casting of the mermaid Ariel. Coppola wanted Maya Thurman Hawke (daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke), but the studio wasn't so keen, a conflict they apparently couldn't reconcile. Universal will continue production on the film. (Deadline)

- Sony may lose the rights to distribute any new James Bond film. The studio had an agreement with Bond's longtime (and financially troubled) distributors MGM to co-distribute four films, beginning with Casino Royal (2006), which will end with the imminent release of Spectre (2015) and likely trigger a highly lucrative bidding war. Sony may well win back the rights, but they could just as easily lose them amid strong interest from all the majors. They don't seem too worried about that prospect, although they really should be, considering Bond is their only big franchise apart from Spider-Man. (Variety)

- Jennifer Kent, the director of the wonderful horror film The Babadook(2014), will be writing and directing an adaptation of Alexis Coe's non-fiction "lesbian romance-murder-tragedy" book Alice + Freda Forever. This is hardly the biggest news, but it's certainly very exciting in this writer's broken mind. (Deadline)

- Disney may not be producing a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid (1989), but they are remaking practically everything else they own. The latest film to receive this treatment will be the Night on Bald Mountain segment from Fantasia (1940). Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless will write. (The Hollywood Reporter)

- Disney is also developing a remake of Sister Act (1991). Legally Blonde (2001) scribes Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Karen McCullah will pen the film, and Allison Shearmur will produce following her success with Cinderella (2015). People seem mad about this, but I can't say I'm that bothered either way, mainly because I haven't seen the original (yes, I know). What can I say, my school's early nineties Disney joint was Cool Runnings (1993). (The Hollywood Reporter)

- I've also never read any of the books in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Really, all I know is that studios keep trying and failing to adapt it for cinema. First it was Universal, now it's Sony, who have identified A Royal Affair (2012) writer/director Nikolaj Arcel as their number one choice to oversee the project. I look forward to writing that it will never happen in about a year or so. (Deadline)

- Michael Bay will be directing a film called Time Salvager, an adaptation of the Wesley Chu's sci-fi novel of the same name that will be produced by Paramount. This is news. (The Wrap)

- Clint Eastwood will direct a film about Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed a disabled jet in the Hudson River in 2009, for Warner Bros. The film will be based on Sullenberger's book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, and will be written by Todd Komarnicki. This is also news. (The Hollywood Reporter)

- Eddie Redmayne will star as Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off/prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling. I'm pretty sure we knew this already, but it's official now anyway. The film is due for release November 18, 2016 and will be produced by Warner Bros. (Business Wire)

- There's a film being made about a hack at Sony that isn't Chris Columbus? (See Pixels this August!) The filmmakers behind the Oscar-nominated Egyptian revolution documentary The Square (2013), Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, are hard at work on a documentary about cybercrime, and have revealed they'll be using last year's cyberattack on Sony as an entry-point into the issue. (The Hollywood Reporter)

- Louis Leterrier, the mastermind behind such veritable classics as Clash of the Titans (2010) and The Incredible Hulk (2008), has left Sony's upcoming shark movie In the Deep because of creative differences. We shall mourn this loss. (The Wrap)

- And, finally, hello to Jason Isaacs, who will be playing the villain in the Gore Verbinski's upcoming horror film A Cure for Wellness. (The Hollywood Reporter)