Surprise! But not really. We’ve long assumed that Black Manta would be the big villain of the Aquaman movie, because, honestly, who else could be? But now it’s official, and we know who’s playing him: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Get Down star Abdul-Mateen has been officially offered the role of Aquaman’s best-known villain and is currently in talks with Warner Bros. about the role. If he accepts, he’ll suit up alongside Patrick Wilson as Aquaman’s half-brother Orm, the Ocean Master, as the film’s primary villains.
For those who aren’t aware, in the comics, Manta—pretty much the de facto Aquaman villain of note—has long had beef with Arthur Curry. His original origin pegged him as the victim of kidnapping, and after failing to get Aquaman to notice him and rescue him, he became embittered with the hero and the ocean he represented. In later comics, he was retconned as an autistic Arkham Asylum patient who grew up in the facility, being experimented on and driven to violent tendencies.
No matter which origin they go for, at least we officially know now: Aquaman will feature the character’s most iconic foe when it hits theaters in late 2018.