Aquaman 2 Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Getting Ripped for Black Manta Return

Filming is currently underway on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the long-awaited sequel to the 2018 DC Comics blockbuster. The film is set to see the return of multiple of the franchise's principal cast members, including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta. The actor has showcased a bit of his behind-the-scenes process training for the film, and he did so once again earlier this week, posting a photo of him shirtless by a weightlifting bench. Abdul-Mateen II's caption proclaims that Black Manta is "back under construction."

Abdul-Mateen previously spoke with ComicBook.com about his role in the sequel. During our conversation, he revealed his hopes for the character's future in the DC Universe.

"Anywhere where he has a device or plot to get back to Aquaman, he's going to use it. So, he can show up wherever," Abdul-Mateen shared with ComicBook.com at the time. "But when he does I hope that we get to see more of his wit and more of the comedic parts of Black Manta and see more of the things that make him [the Black Manta] that I know and the human that the fans, and the people in this universe, have grown to love over the years."

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will also see the return of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Patrick Wilson as Orm, and Amber Heard as Mera. Game of Thrones alum Pilou Asbaek has also joined the cast in an unknown role.

"After we ended the first one I went in with my writing partner and we dreamed up the second one and we went in and pitched the idea," Momoa previously said on The Drew Barrymore Show. "The best thing I can give you is that I love it so much that I participated in the writing of it. And so, we did the first treatment and then James and our original writer David finished it off. And all of our hearts are in it. Instead of just like getting a script and doing that, you are 100% being encouraged by your director and co-writers. So that's exciting for me and I'm excited to go over there. I leave in July and we start filming."

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arrives in theaters on December 16, 2022.