Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Confirms Black Manta's Return In 'Aquaman 2'
Warner Brothers

I think I just noticed a pattern.  The DC Superheroes tend to all have an archenemy that in many ways reflect the heroes, but in the movies, the heroes tend not to really combat those “arch” villains in their first movie.  Even though it isn’t part of the shared DC film universe, in ‘Green Lantern’, Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan battled Hector Hammond, not Sinestro, who was still kind of a good guy in that movie.  Instead, the post-credits scene teased Sinestro’s return as a villain in a sequel that never came to pass.  Instead of Darkseid, the ‘Justice League’ battled his flunky Steppenwolf, with Darkseid set up to appear in a later film, which may also never materialize.  Wonder Woman’s most famous foe, The Cheetah, will make her debut in the sequel ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, and Black Adam will get his own movie before coming face-to-face with Billy Batson in a ‘Shazam!’ sequel.

Even though Yahya Abdul-Mateen II appeared as Black Manta in ‘Aquaman’ and even traded a few blows with him, he wasn’t the main villain.  Instead, that was Patrick Wilson’s Orm a.k.a. Ocean Master.  But rest assured Black Manta will be back to challenge Aquaman in the sequel, and Abdul-Mateen will be inside the iconic helmet.

Speaking to Uproxx, Abdul-Mateen said:

“Aquaman 2 is happening! It is happening, and we can look for that, I believe, in 2022. So I’m excited to be part of that. Black Manta will be back, and hopefully, he’ll be causing a lot more trouble than he did in the first one.”

Black Manta is most famous for a couple of reasons.  He was used as Aquaman’s archenemy on ‘Challenge of the Superfriends’, on which he gained fans thanks to his resemblance to Darth Vader, and his metallic voice.  In the comics, he is notorious for having murdered Aquaman and Mera’s infant son, a trauma that ultimately destroyed their marriage.

At the end of ‘Aquaman’, it was teased that Black Manta was entering an alliance with the obsessed Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park).

Director James Wan is helming a low-budget horror flick, ‘Malignant’, and is attached to direct the pilot for ‘The Magic Order’ for Netflix, before returning fir ‘Aquaman 2’.  Jason Momoa stars in the upcoming Apple TV+ series ‘See’, which has already been renewed for a second season.  He is also attached to star in an action-drama, ‘Sweet Girl’, so it remains to be seen how their schedules will work out.

Meanwhile, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II can be seen in HBO new series ‘Watchmen’ based on another DC comics publication, and will appear in ‘Candyman’ and ‘All Day and a Night’.  He is now filming ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, and recently signed on for ‘The Matrix 4’.

‘Aquaman 2’ is scheduled to open on December 16, 2022.