Black Manta Actor Weighs In On Working In Aquaman 2 And His Acting Process

Jan 2, 2023

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is all geared up for the release of Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom. The actor plays David Kane/Black Manta in the sequel, reprising his role from the first movie, which introduced him as the secondary adversary to the titular Justice League member.

In the first Aquaman movie, we only got a short glimpse of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II donning the Black Manta costume. The comic book antagonist to the King of Atlantis, David Kane (David Hyde in the comics), makes a deal with Orm/Ocean Master to take revenge for his father’s death on a pirate mission that Aquaman thwarts at the beginning of the movie. He gains powerful weapons to take on Arthur Curry and attacks him and Mera, only to be thrown off a cliff in the ensuing battle.
In a recent interview with Vulture, the actor shared his experience working on the sequel while shedding some light on his acting process.

Everything should be about getting to the truth. But sometimes you got to know which movie or genre you’re in. Something like Aquaman, that’s clown work. Aquaman is not The Trial of the Chicago 7. You gotta get over yourself.

While his ‘clown work’ statement was taken out of context in many tabloids, the actor meant that working in the superhero genre and on films like Aquaman, it’s essential to bring moments of theatricality and surprise jaw-dropping moments to make a difference. It’s not only about diving into the character but also making that character appease the masses. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II weighed in on the comment and said,

In order to survive and to do it well, you have to play that game and then be crafty about when you want to surprise the audience, the director, or yourself with a little bit of ‘Wow, I didn’t expect to see a Chekhovian thing or August Wilson and Aquaman, but I did.

Numerous controversies surrounding Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, as well as constant delays in the release, are already making for bad press for the DCEU film; however, the Black Manta actor’s comments are not meant to harm the movie. It was probably him explaining his perspective on the scripts he gets in his own way.

The actor even tweeted a picture of him wearing a clown nose in response to the media frenzy surrounding his statement, captioning,

Tempted to clarify, but for that’s no fun. Instead, here’s a pic of myself on the way to work on Trial of Chicago 7. Spy anything? Aquaman in theaters Dec 2023!

Mateen’s comments are not being taken lightly for the moment, but it just spices up the film’s discussions in the press. The film is already struggling to sustain the hype as it keeps getting delayed. The makers and studio would want the film to be kept alive among fans for the time being, given it’s still more than a year to its release date.

Aquaman 2 May Feature Black Manta as More Prominent Villain

After being the secondary villain in the first film, Black Manta may be the primary antagonist to the titular superhero. This time, Aquaman would instead team up with his half-brother Orm/Ocean Master (played by Patrick Wilson) in what is being called a buddy movie.

James Wan had earlier revealed his big plans for Black Manta, which, at one time, also involved a solo feature film project disguised under the title The Trench. The Black Manta movie was later scrapped at Warner Bros.

Fans are still awaiting the movie’s first trailer and the first look at the more aggressive and revenge-driven David Kane/Black Manta. Aquaman sequel has also added up a role for Batman in the script, either to be played by Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton. The addition of Batman to the story further deepens its roots in the DC Extended Universe and Justice League.

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Kidman, Randall Park, and Pilou Asbæk.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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