'Aquaman' Director Teases Black Manta's "Classic Revenge Story"

A hero is only as good as his villain, and Aquaman's director is teasing big things for Black Manta.

Black Manta has long been one of Aquaman's deadliest foes, and that isn't going to change in James Wan's interpretation. Manta will be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Wan says his motive “is very primal, that classic revenge story. I love the simplicity of that human drive" (via USA Today).

It is unknown which version of the story Wan will go with, but Manta is often depicted as seeking revenge for Arthur's accidental killing of Manta's father. Granted, Manta's father is also partly responsible for the death of Arthur's father, so you can see where the animosity (and confusion) comes from between the two.

It seems Manta will also be one of the only villains in Aquaman's debut solo film, despite rumors to the contrary.

Abdul-Mateen II went all out trying to get in shape for the fan favorite villain role, and though he dislikes the work that goes into it, he is happy with the results.

"It’s been about five days a week in the gym and doing fight training, too," Abdul-Mateen revealed. "I have a love-hate relationship with working out. I do not enjoy the experience when I’m doing it, but I never regret it. I think I’m in the best shape of my life."

As for Arthur, Wan says “He doesn’t quite fit in, but as the story progresses, he realizes he’s the best of both worlds. Circumstances allow him to grow as a human being and then realize the bigger picture of it all and what it means to have these abilities.”

Aquaman currently holds a 3.90 out of 5 on ComicBook.com's anticipation rankings, which you can vote in here.

Aquaman hits theaters on December 21, 2018.

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