Aquaman has palled around with his Justice League teammates across a few films since making his debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But don’t expect the King of Atlantis to invite his friends over for dinner. When asked if the upcoming Aquaman movie would feature a cameo from any of his Justice League buddies, director James Wan said no.

Wan explained that the decision was based on his desire to build Aquaman’s world and keep the stakes high for the superhero.

“I wanted to keep the story to the world of Aquaman and not have to worry about what other characters are doing in their films and how that would affect us,” Wan said. “I just thought the simplest way was to keep it clean—keep it simple and let it be an Aquaman story.”

Since taking over as Aquaman director, Wan has been crystal clear about making the movie he wants to make, one that wasn’t manipulated by the construct of the larger universe. It seems to be an approach being adopted by Warner Bros. as a whole, releasing new films that aren’t necessarily tied to a greater scheme.

Warner Bros. recently had success with Wonder Woman, which didn’t feature any Justice League cameos. Aquaman will hope to replicate that success without relying on Batman or Superman to tell the story. Wan very much wants Aquaman to stand on his own.

“I told [the studio] I understand and respect that it’s part of a bigger universe but at the end of he day I have to tell the story I want to tell, and I want to develop the character as well,” Wan said.

Aquaman hits theaters on December 21, 2018.

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