While Patrick Wilson’s Orm (aka. Ocean Master) is the primary villain of James Wan’s “Aquaman” film, the superhero’s most popular villain Black Manta also has a key role in the new film from Warner Bros. Pictures.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes on the part of the powerful and well-trained human with a large oval helmet that sports red glowing eyes that can shoot laser beams. Specifics of his involvement are under wraps, but he seems to be something of a wildcard in the story judging by the film’s first trailer.
In a just published quote from producer Peter Safran over at Cinema Blend, it has been revealed that the studio has plans for the character that go beyond this movie and single franchise and branches out into the greater DCEU universe:
“We certainly have every intention that Manta plays a very large role in the DC universe. He has to. He’s just too great. And we give him his origin story in this movie. We do show how Manta, that we see in the comic books, became that character. And we’re so fortunate to have this guy, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, to play him. I don’t know if you guys saw The Get Down on Netflix, this guy Yahya is just extraordinary, and he came in and he auditioned and we met with him and it was just a slam dunk.
We love Manta. From the early days of developing the screenplay he’s just such a great antagonist and he’s such a fan favorite, and the response every time people hear that he’s in the movie or that it’s confirmed that he’s in the movie they’re thrilled about it. So we always wanted to give him his storyline, and if Orm is the primary antagonist, then Manta is certainly is a very strong secondary antagonist. There is a connection between Orm and Manta that will be revealed that helps make him a more integral part of the story.”
With the exception of “Shazam” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” Warner Bros. and DC have not officially announced a green light for any other DC Extended Universe films at this point – though several are in the development such as “Birds of Prey”. “Aquaman” opens in cinemas in December.