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Black Manta is played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. In the comics, Black Manta is Aquaman's archenemy in the comics. Ocean Master is the main antagonist in Aquaman, but Black Manta is set up to be a major villain in a potential sequel.
"We meet Black Manta at a time where, it's just him and his dad, and he's riding on high, you know," Abdul-Mateen told ComicBook.com. "He's just come off of his wind, and there's a changing of the guards, so to speak. And then, this guy, Aquaman, comes in, and crashes the party.
"He's so relentless," Abdul-Mateen II continued. "And so, in a fight, he's never down, and he's never out. And you think that he's done, but he comes back. And it's like, 'Hey, I finished you! I proved my point! I'm stronger than you. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Why are you still here?' You know?
"He doesn't want to take over the world, he doesn't have this grand scheme of, like, monopolizing something for his own personal benefit. He's very much on the line. And so, he has this very strong moral code that he will not compromise, and that he will not negotiate on."
Aquaman is directed by James Wan and follows Momoa's debut as Aquaman in 2017's Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Wan discussed the importance of putting his own touch on Aquaman while also staying true to the foundation laid in Justice League.
"It was very important for me early on to be allowed to make my own film and to have my own voice be in there," Wan said. "After Furious 7 and Conjuring 2, I didn't want to be a director for hire. After Furious 7, that's kind of who I was to some degree, but after that, I don't want to be that guy again. So, it was very important for me to be able to bring my own stamp, my own visual aesthetic, create the characters. Even though Jason has somewhat been established Justice League, I wanted to bring his character into this, basically, fresh in a lot of ways.
"So it was important for me to obviously pay a respect to where he was left off in [Justice League], but then allow me the freedom to take him to where I want to take him at the end of the movie. My hero goes on this hero's journey to become someone very different than where he started. That was something that was very important for me. But the movie I want to make, that I was allowed that freedom to do that."
Are you excited to see Black Manta in Aquaman? Let us know in the comments!
Aquaman opens in theaters on December 21st.
Upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Shazam on April 5, 2019, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.