Watchmen has become the breakout hit of this season for HBO, and the big reveal of Doctor Manhattan has only stoked those fires. Now, the actor who is playing the glowing demigod has addressed the question of whether he’d like to slip into Superman’s cape at some point. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was asked about it during an interview with Variety and the idea of such a thing is fun to consider. But, the star is very aware he’s already suited up in DC’s movie universe as Black Manta in the Aquaman franchise. The way the first movie left off made it seem like the villain will have a bigger role to play in the upcoming sequel and Abdul Mateen isn’t trying to miss that boat. But, if the call came, he wouldn’t exactly be averse to playing The Man of Steel.
“I think I’m having fun with my superhero guys that I’m doing right now,” Abdul-Mateen II began. “My card is pretty full right now, I have Black Manta going on, but if they want to have more conversations, I’ll definitely come to the table and see what we could do. But, I’m in a DC property right now and I love the future of Black Manta. So, I gotta go have some fun with that.”
He also joked, “I do need to fill up my slate with some regular dudes without powers, who can figure out their problems without access to superhero powers.”
Before the big reveal on Watchmen two weeks ago, the actor told EW that he had no idea this was the part he was going to play. Damon Lindelof also told The Official Watchmen Podcast that he kept a lid on the secret until after a bit of the show was already filmed. Abdul-Lateen II’s account of the ordeal is absolutely fascinating.
"I went into it not knowing I was playing Dr. Manhattan," the actor explained to EW. "I went into it knowing I was playing Cal. He did say it would be a good role and worthwhile, so I thought maybe Cal would go on some type of adventure, but I never imagined it turning into something like this."
After episode one completed filming, Lindelof pulled Abdul-Mateen II to the side. He let him in on the show’s biggest secret. "Somewhere between the second and third episodes, I had another conversation with him where he wanted to talk to me more about Cal’s journey and I came to his office and sat down on the couch," Abdul-Mateen II added. "I think his words were, 'Cal is Dr. Manhattan.' We had a long conversation about what that meant. I remember being on the couch and keeping it cool."
He shared, "He was very relaxed and matter of fact and that’s how I was receiving the information on the outside. But on the inside I was tearing up the room, I was all over the place. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be the person embodying Dr. Manhattan. I said, 'I guess I got to get in shape.'"
Watchmen’s season finale airs Sunday at 9 pm ET on HBO