Relative newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) has booked the main supervillain role, Black Manta, for Warner Bros. and director James Wan’s upcoming Aquaman movie, which stars Jason Momoa.
In what should be a career coup for Abdul-Mateen, competition for the part is said to have been tough, with word that “Moonlight’s” Trevante Rhodes, who recently nabbed a role in “The Predator,” was also a front-runner.
Described as highly intelligent, extremely violent and vicious, Black Manta is the archenemy of Aquaman. With a mastery of hand-to-hand combat training, his abilities include enhanced strength and endurance, with bulletproof armor adapted to an oceanic environment that further enhances his physical attributes. He also employs a varying array of weapons including energy beams that he can fire from his right wrist gauntlet, miniaturized torpedoes, and optic blasts emitted from the eye lenses in his helmet. Black Manta often utilizes unique vehicles such as a modified, manta ray-shaped submarine for traveling. He also has an army of masked henchmen with underwater suits at his disposal.
Warner Bros recently pushed back “Aquaman’s” release date a few months, to October 5, 2018.
Abdul-Mateen will be seen next alongside his now fellow WB/DC Universe star Dwayne Johnson in the “Baywatch” movie, out later this year.
The Hollywood Reporter was first to announce the news of his casting in “Aquaman.”