Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II shared a new photo of his rigorous physical training to prepare for the role of Black Manta. The actor known for Baywatch and The Get Down will be the first to portray the villain in live action as part of the DC Extended Universe. The film’s stars have shared periodic glimpses at the intense training they went through to get ready for their various performances, including Jason Momoa as the title character and Amber Heard as Mera.

Abdul-Mateen II has also had his share of work to do in order to make Black Manta as convincing and intimidating as possible. The villain thrives on his enhanced athleticism and intelligence as opposed to exaggerated superhuman powers, which means whoever plays him better be in peak shape. Abdul-Mateen is certainly that, as evidenced by the newest look at his training.

Related: Aquaman Actor Says DCEU Film is ‘Star Wars Underwater’

The actor shared a photo of himself to Twitter on Monday that depicts him as if he’s in character, aggressively tugging on a rope while screaming. The photo hearkens back to the one shared by Heard in May, in which she trained together with Abdul-Mateen II. This new photo is simply dubbed “Character Work” for Black Manta – check it out below:

Black Manta has always been known for his superior intellect and physical condition, which he has used to become both a feared fighter and expert pirate and treasure hunter. In addition to the obvious strength training, Abdul-Mateen II also trained in martial arts as part of his preparation. He didn’t stop at that, however, as he even dove extensively into the Aquaman comics to learn as much as he could about the character.

David Hyde (and his alter ego Black Manta) is not just a formidable foe but something of a tortured soul. The young Hyde has endured various forms of trauma, abuse, and hardship in the comics, which helped shape his survival instincts, evil outlook, and violent tendencies. The physical training for the role of Black Manta is undoubtedly very demanding, but Abdul-Mateen II seems well aware that the villain can be quite compelling psychologically as well.

It remains to be seen how faithful director James Wan’s take on Aquaman will be to the comics in terms of Black Manta’s suit and signature red-eyed helmet. Abdul-Mateen II has already trolled fans over the costume reveal, so hopefully next time he has the real costume to show off. The actor is still rather unproven in terms of major roles, but his work on The Get Down as Clarence “Cadillac” Caldwell shows that he has potential in portraying corrupted, complicated characters.

Next: Aquaman Will Finish Filming This Month

Source: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

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