The reason the sub-genre of underwater adventures is so underrepresented is dealing with all that water can be a problem. Productions can be both physically and psychologically demanding for everyone involved. It may be the time to dive in again.
Ever since I was a kid, and discovered Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” (both the book and the 1954 Disney film), like many fans, I have been fascinated by the idea of underwater adventures. The idea of an alien landscape right here on Earth and the “otherworldly” life forms one can encounter in our planet’s oceans and waters are as strange as anything you might encounter in an outer space adventure.
James Cameron’s (written and directed by) 1989 high-tech movie about the search for a lost US submarine by a team of oil rig workers encountered a lot of problems with shooting and dealing with all that water, amongst other things. Although I enjoyed the film, for the most part, some would argue the movie was not worth the effort. Other examples of productions that shared the same difficulties are the Disney film mentioned above and Seaquest DSV (1993-1996), the television series. Special effects were also a problem in all of the above examples. The practical effects used in the Disney film, although state-of-the-art at the time, and still fun to see, are laughable by today’s standards. With the advent of CGI new things were made possible, and in the case of The Abyss, the services of George Lucas’ Industrial Light And Magic were hired to craft the scenes required to finish the film. Even then, the tech was not quite up to the task for the TV series, and are now even dated in Cameron’s film.
Things have progressed a great deal since then, and with the announcement of a solo Aquaman film scheduled for 2018, I am hopeful for more examples of the sub-genre a young boy fell in love with so long ago.