Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Eyed for AQUAMAN's Black Manta

Written by Andrew Pollard Wednesday, 01 February 2017

Movie News

With one villain already signed up in the form of Patrick Warburton as Orm, aka Ocean Master, it’s being reported that James Wan’s Aquaman is also lining up another rogue ahead of its release next year.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that The Get Down’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in initial talks to plays Black Manta in the Jason Momoa-starrer.

Those familiar with the DC comic book world will know that Manta is a huge deal and is one of the King of Atlantis’ most infamous villains. The character debuted back in 1967’s Aquaman #35, and what often caught the attention of many readers was the mysterious nature of Black Manta. What intrigued fans was that Manta was so often left without any semblance of an origin until the 1990s, and even then his origin story has changed over the following years. The initial depiction of the rogue saw him have a grudge against the sea due to having been abused by the crew of a ship. Seeing Aquaman as a symbol of the sea, Black Manta focussed his vengeance on the Marine Marvel. In subsequent years, the origin was changed to show Manta’s anger at Aquaman as he blames the hero for the death of his father.

Either way, the real name and real story behind Black Manta is largely left shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. As for powers and abilities, he is someone who has no exact superpowers to speak of. Instead, he’s just an all-round badass, brutal fighter who is in top physical condition. And, of course, he has a nifty-looking trademark suit that allows him to head down to the depths of the ocean.

Production on Aquaman is due to start in Australia shortly, and already signed on are Jason Momoa as the titular King of Atlantis, Amber Heard as the hero’s bride, Mera, Patrick Wilson as Aquaman’s jealous half-brother, Orm, and Willem Dafoe as Atlantean advisor, Vulko.

At present, Aquaman is set to swim to the big screen on October 5th, 2018, although Momoa’s King of the Seven Seas will be next seen in this November’s Justice League.


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