In July of last year, a few lucky outlets were invited to visit the set of Aquaman in Australia. The embargo on those set visits was lifted today so get ready for an information dump surrounding DC’s newest film.
Let’s start with one of the films main antagonists. Black Manta is set to be portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who discussed where his character is in life when we meet him in Aquaman:
“We meet Black Manta at a time where, it’s just him and his dad, and he’s riding on high, you know. He’s just come off of his wind, and there’s a changing of the guards, so to speak. And then, this guy, Aquaman, comes in, and crashes the party.”
It was revealed that when the film kicks off, Manta and his father are pirates which likely leads them to cross paths with Arthur Curry.
Abdul-Mateen II went on to describe Black Manta as “relentless” which is something that plays into his character’s motivations:
“He doesn’t want to take over the world, he doesn’t have this grand scheme of, like, monopolizing something for his own personal benefit. He’s very much on the line. And so, he has this very strong moral code that he will not compromise, and that he will not negotiate on.”
Another tidbit that came out was that Black Manta would don two costumes during the film. It can be assumed that he will wear his fathers and then one of his own design, which is something that has occurred in the comics.
What may come as a surprise to some is that Aquaman could be considered a setup film for Black Manta. Producer Peter Safran let it be known that Manta should not be thought of as the film’s main villain. That title will go to Patrick Wilson’s Orm but if you’re a fan of Black Manta don’t worry there’s more to come. Safran elaborated on Manta’s role in the DC Universe moving forward:
“From the early days of developing the screenplay, he’s just such a great antagonist and he’s such a fan favorite. And, the response every time people hear that he’s in the movie or that it’s confirmed that he’s in the movie, they’re thrilled about it. So, we always wanted to give him his storyline and if Orm is the primary antagonist, then Manta is certainly is a very strong secondary antagonist and there is a connection between Orm and Manta that will be revealed that that helps make him a more integral part of the story. We certainly have every intention that Manta plays a very large role in the DC universe. He has to. He’s just too great. And we give him his origin story in this movie. We do show how Manta that we see in the comic books, became that character.”
Are you excited to see Black Manta make his live-action debut? Let us know in the comments below! –Jackson Hayes
Aquaman hits theaters December 21st