'Aquaman' Finds Its Black Manta Villain With 'Get Down' Actor (Exclusive)

Director James Wan and the studio have been meeting with numerous actors for the part over the past two weeks.
John Sciulli/Getty Images; Courtesy of David Finch/DC Entertainment
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; Black Manta

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who starred in Netflix’s Baz Luhrmann show The Get Down, is in early talks to put on his wetsuit for Warner Bros.' Aquaman.

The actor has nabbed the part of Black Manta, one of the DC Comics villains. Director James Wan and the studio have been meeting with numerous actors for the part over the past two weeks, settling on Abdul-Mateen over the weekend. The official offer went out on Monday and the parties are now in talks.

If a deal is made, Abdul-Mateen will suit up as Manta, who first appeared in a DC comic in 1967 and stood out due to his unique battle-costume, trident and deadly schemes.

Aquaman is a massive undertaking for Warner Bros. and the next DC movie to be going before cameras. An April start in Australia is being planned.

Jason Momoa is starring as the half-human, half-Atlantean who is king of the underwater seas. Amber Heard is on board as Mera, his royal love interest, and Willem Dafoe is set to portray Aquaman’s advisor, scientist Dr. Vulko. Patrick Wilson, who starred in Wan’s Conjuring movies, will play Orm, a villain who happens to be Aquaman’s half-brother.

Abdul-Mateen was a finalist for the role of Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff movie thanks to the acclaim he received for his work on The Get Down. Since then, he has booked roles in such high-profile movies as Baywatch, the Dwayne Johnson-Zac Efron action comedy set to open this summer, and The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman’s musical take on circus founder P.T. Barnum.

Abdul-Mateen is repped by Gersh.

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