There is no denying that the DC Cinematic Universe has had some bad news this week — The Flash page-one rewrite, to Warner Bros. not promoting either of their upcoming DC films, and Ben Affleck stepping down as the director of The Batman. But there's some good news to be had — another talented actor is aboard the ship. Or should I say under the ship?
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Black Manta In 'Aquaman'
According to THR, Warner Bros. and director James Wan have been looking for an actor to play the antagonist in Aquaman, Black Manta, for two weeks and they have finally made their decision. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who you may recognize from Netflix’s The Get Down, has nabbed the part. The actor almost landed the role of another iconic African-American character when he auditioned for the role of Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo film, which ultimately went to Donald Glover.
On top of that, THR also reported hours later that Nicole Kidman is in talks to play Aquaman's mother, Atlanna. The actress is picking up a lot of Oscar buzz for her noteworthy performance in Lion. Also, this wouldn't be Kidman's first superhero movie as she starred as Dr. Chase Meridian, the love interest for Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) in the mediocre Batman Forever, which was released in 1995.
In the comics, Black Manta is Aquaman's main enemy similar to how Joker is to Batman and Lex Luthor is to Superman. Black Manta first appeared in Aquaman #35 in 1967 and since has become a unique and menacing character. His lethal high-tech suit keeps his identity a secret along with imposing weaponry and the ability to survive underwater. Over the years, he began to hate all life under the sea and held a personal grudge against Aquaman, desperately attempting to destroy him and his way of life under the sea.
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Abdul-Mateen joins the Aquaman feature film, which is set to release sometime in 2018. He will be joining Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, and Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko. James Wan, who directed Furious 7, Saw, and The Conjuring movies is also set in place to direct the movie, which writer Will Beall told Collider was very fun:
“It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be really fun. What we’ve come up with and James [Wan] especially — he has a really clear idea of the tone he’s going to have, and I think Aquaman is one that’s going to blow people’s minds, not just visually, but I think the story and the scope of it is really great.”
What do you guys think of this casting? Have you lost all hope for the DCEU or is a glimmer of hope on the horizon? Discuss below!
(Sources: THR, Collider)