Aquaman 2: Black Manta Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Prepping to Film Sequel

The wait for the return of Aquaman is nearly over, as the cast and crew of the DC Comics movie prepare to begin filming on Aquaman 2. Director James Wan will be rejoined by cast members Jason Momoa and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, while will be reprising their roles as Arthur Curry and Black Manta respectively. While we haven't heard much about the plans for the King of Atlantis and his second solo adventure in the DC Universe, it looks like filming is gearing up for the return of Aquaman and one of his deadliest foes.

Abdul-Mateen has been hard at work in recent years, starring as Doctor Manhattan in HBO's Watchmen as well as joining The Matrix 4 revival. Now he's getting back to his villainous side, prepping for the return of Black Manta.

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. "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."

Director James Wan spoke at DC FanDome last year and teased his plans for the sequel. While the first Aquaman movie was a lighthearted roller coaster ride, expect a darker approach more fitting to Wan's sensibilities in the sequel.

"I would say a little bit more serious. A little bit more relevant in a world that we're living in today. And I think that's kind of what it wants to go."

Momoa appeared on Ellen's talk show and reiterated what he wants to see in a sequel. Now that Aquaman is the established King of Atlantis, he wants his character to continue to fight to protect the oceans.

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"I was really, really, really, passionate, to do the second one because it's the first time where it's all on Earth. It's combining land and sea, kind of like what I'm doing with this [environmental cause]. There's no outside aliens destroying Earth, it's us. And so I was excited to get back in there, and so I've been working with our previous writer and getting in there, and we've got a locked story, and we're getting into it."

Aquaman 2 is currently set to premiere in theaters on December 16, 2022.