Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been reportedly involved with Aquaman for months, but he has now confirmed his role as Black Manta. Pre-production is well underway on Jason Momoa’s solo film, and has resulted in the cast making their way to Australia for the start of filming. With the summer start rapidly approaching, cast members not yet confirmed to appear have begun to confirm their involvement. So far, only Momoa, Amber Heard (Mera), Patrick Wilson (Ocean Master), and Willem DaFoe (Vulko) had been confirmed members of the cast.
Recently, Nicole Kidman confirmed her role as Aquaman’s mother, plus it was revealed that Dolph Lundgren has a role as King Nereus. It has been months since Abdul-Mateen was first reported to be in talks for Black Manta, and he has finally confirmed his next villainous role.
The actor took to Twitter to finally reply to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s previous congratulatory tweet. Not only are both men now involved with the DCEU – The Rock is set to play Black Adam eventually – but they also are co-stars in Baywatch this summer. Abdul-Mateen’s long-awaited response calls back a joke from the Baywatch marketing, but more importantly confirms that his talks have closed.
Black Manta appears to be the main villain that Aquaman will face in his first solo movie. While Orm and King Nereus may be adversaries as well, it is believed that Black Manta will be the primary antagonist. In the comics, Aquaman kills his father and sets Manta on this path for revenge. It is unclear if this is the story director James Wan plans to adapt, but it would not be surprising to see them explore a similar story.
This will be Abdul-Mateen’s biggest role to date, after gaining plenty of recognition for his work in The Get Down on Netflix last year. While he also played a villain in that series, the role of Black Manta will be a far more physically challenging role and one that will have many more eyes on his performance. With him beating out a number of other up and coming and talented actors for this role, Warner Bros., Wan, and DC Entertainment Head Geoff Johns certainly believe he is up for the task.
Now that Abdul-Mateen is confirmed as well, it should not be long before the final casting announcements are made and all roles are filled. This is one DCEU project that appears to be moving along incredibly well, so hopefully this positivity will translate well to the big screen.
Source: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II