The DC Extended Universe has had its fair share of bumps and bruises during the first few years of its existence. Following a mixed reception for Man of Steel, both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad have received less than favorable reviews. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced a slate of DCEU films through 2020 though, and one of the movies on that list is James Wan's Aquaman. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how well Aquaman is received in Justice League) for the director, Jason Momoa will have already established himself as the character prior to his solo film.
Even though Wan is not yet ready to start production on Aquaman, as the start date gets closer, more reports will start to come out regarding the plot and characters involved in the film. The latest report of the nature points to Black Manta being the villain - though Wan is not ready to confirm nor deny those reports just yet.
Wan is in attendance at the Television Critics Association panels this week to discuss the upcoming MacGyver series that he's working on. However, with the Aquaman villain rumor dropping moments before he took the stage, /Film had a chance to ask Wan if the report was true or not. It should come as a surprise that Wan is keeping his mouth shut when it comes to addressing rumors.
“I want to know where Wrap got that piece of news from. Come on, I can’t talk about this... I’m not saying anything. No comment is my comment.”
Since the report has come out, fans have already started to give their suggestions as to who could play the role of Black Manta - if, indeed, he is in the Aquaman movie. If Black Manta is in fact the villain, then WB/DC will have a fair number of possibilities for casting the character. The fact that Wan does not flat out deny the reports as being false could mean they're credible. After all, some believe that an early concept for the Black Manta costume is visible in a behind-the-scenes picture released by Zack Snyder from the Justice League set; maybe we will see him debut prior to Aquaman in the DCEU, too.
Even with these reports and Black Manta being one of Aquaman's biggest enemies, they may not have finalized who the villain will be in the film. One of the latest updates on the movie was that the script was being re-written, seemingly with a brand new concept. New DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns and Wan may have decided that Black Manta is going to be the villain of the movie - or it is possible that he was at one point, but not anymore. Until WB/DC officially announce Black Manta with an actor lined up, it is best to not get to attached to the idea of him as the villain... even if it is the most likely outcome.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, Batman, and Man of Steel 2 are currently without release dates.