Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has confirmed his role as Black Manta in the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Aquaman. Rumors of the casting surfaced back in February when Abdul-Mateen’s Baywatch co-star The Rock congratulated him on Twitter, but the role wasn’t officially confirmed… until now!
The actor finally replied to the tweet on Wednesday, saying: “Can finally say THANK YOU! The club just got a little more “tan” and a lot more Badass!!”
— Yahya Abdul-Mateen 2 (@yahya) April 19, 2017
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.
The Rock and Abdul-Mateen can be seen together in Baywatch next month. That’s also when Aquaman production is expected to begin in Australia. The movie will be released on December 21, 2018.
Black Manta 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.