There are many Malaysian-born celebrities that have achieved success on an international and global scale. To name a few, Dato’ Michelle Yeoh, Amber Chia, Dato’ Jimmy Choo, and many more.
James Wan is no exception. Many are probably not familiar with his name but the young talent has taken Hollywood’s horror genre to an awesome new level. You might have heard of his films, Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, and Furious 7. These are films with big budgets in the millions, and have grossed even bigger figures into the box office.
If you can’t sleep at night, you know who’s the man behind that 😉
James Wan is of Chinese-Malaysian decent, born in Kuching, Sarawak, but his family migrated to Australia when he was just seven.
Wan had first gained international recognition in 2004, when the first Saw feature film was released. The drama, horror, mystery film kept its audience captivated with its gruesome scenes and unpredictable plot. Since then, 6 sequels of the film have been produced.
Other mega-films have ensued from there — Insidious, The Conjuring, and it’s respective sequels. But it was Furious 7 that brought in a whopping USD $1.5 billion (RM6.1 billion) worldwide; one of the highest grossed at the box office. Furious 7 was also the last film dedicated to the late actor Paul Walker, whom was sadly involved in a fatal car accident. He passed away before the movie was completed, and his younger brothers stood in to complete the film as a double.
For the first time in 20 years, Wan returned to visit Sarawak last year.
“That’s where I was born. I had to go back and reacquaint myself with distant family members and just to see and experience what had changed,” he tells The Star.
Wan also shared that he needs a break from work, so he came back to meet relatives. Despite not spending much of his childhood in Malaysia, Wan makes it no secret that he’s rather fond of Malaysians’ delicacies, such as durian, rambutan, and laksa. These are all visible on his Instagram page @creepypuppet.
When asked if he would film in Malaysia, James responds: “If the location calls for it, it’d be amazing. When I was visiting Malaysia recently, I thought it’d be amazing to shoot something in the forest or beaches.”
“Something beautiful, nothing scary.”
With the production of DC Comics’ Aquaman next, Wan explains to The Star that Aquaman is a very unique character. Also, the reason why this superhero has not made it on screen yet was because they did not have the technology to properly capture and portray the setting of the story, which mostly takes place underwater.
“Because of that, it has a different flavour (compared) to all the other superhero movies, it takes place in its own world and it has its own visual. So if anything it feels more like an action-adventure pirate story.”
It would be nice to see Malaysia on the big screen. If James Wan brings the production to town, I know I’ll be signing up as an extra!