Director James Wan is currently knee-deep in production on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the sequel to his billion dollar-grossing 2018 DC superhero film. Wan took to Instagram and posted a bunch of new images of the villainous Black Manta, and the Silver Age-inspired look of the character and the sets.
Black Manta is played in the Aquaman films by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was featured prominently in one of the pictures that Wan posted. Other images displayed the campy-looking cave and submarine sets, as well as the character’s costume, all of which and more was teased during the recent DC FanDome event. Black Manta/David Kane was introduced in the first Aquaman film, in an action scene set inside a Russian submarine. Aquaman infiltrated the submarine and during a fight, David’s pirate father was killed. David vowed to avenge his life, and later assumed the identity of Black Manta.
Wan wrote in the caption of his post:
“Black Manta (played by the talented and badass @yahya) and his ship/tech inspired by the aesthetic of the Silver Age (and New 52, thank you @ivanreisart) comics. Months and months of meticulous detailing were spent on costume and production designs. #aquaman2 #lostkingdom #silverage”
Black Manta was created in 1967 by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, and has had numerous origin stories over the years. The New 52 iteration of the character that Wan tipped his hat to is also motivated by revenge.
Abdul-Mateen II broke out with a supporting role in Baz Luhrmann’s short-lived Netflix series The Get Down. He has since delivered critically acclaimed performances in Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen miniseries on HBO and Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. As a leading man, he most recently appeared in Nia DaCosta’s Candyman sequel/reboot. He will soon play another iconic character in The Matrix Resurrections; in which, he recently revealed, he has been cast as the new Morpheus. He will also co-star in director Michael Bay’s new action film, Ambulance, which better be good because Bay nearly killed people while making it.
Wan, best known for his horror fare, delivered perhaps the most divisive film of his career recently. Malignant, his homage to Italian giallo cinema, starred Annabelle Wallis in the lead role and was released simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters, where it failed to recover its reported $40 million budget.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom stars Jason Momoa in the title role, and also features Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, and Temuera Morrison. The film is slated to release on December 16, 2022. You can check out Wan’s post here: