Aquaman 2: Black Manta Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Reveals Prep For Filming

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Black Manta, Jason Momoa as Aquaman

2018's Aquaman was a major hit for the DCEU due to the impressive live-action adaptation from director James Wan as well as the amazing portrayal of Jason Momoa as the King of Atlantis. The blockbuster had no shortage of iconic moments, ranging from the comic-accurate costume of Arthur Curry all the way to stunning depictions of villains such as Ocean Master and Black Manta. 

As a result, it paved the way for a sequel to be greenlit by Warner Bros. The currently untitled Aquaman 2 is set to be released on December 16, 2022, and it was confirmed that a good chunk of the cast from the first film will return

Details about the production of Aquaman 2 are still being kept under wraps, which makes sense especially after numerous delays of other films due to the pandemic. Despite that, it seems that everything is slowly coming together for the much-anticipated sequel, thanks to a tease from one of the film's major cast members.


In a tweet, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays Black Manta in the Aquaman franchise, shared a “wave check” video of him showing off his haircut along with the caption saying “Aquaman 2 prep.”

This could be the very first hint that the Jason Momoa-led sequel is gearing up for production sooner rather than later. 



Given the tease from the Aquaman actor, there's a strong chance that Warner Bros. has already mapped out the production timeline for the upcoming DCEU sequel. In a way, starting production as early as next month actually makes sense, considering the unstable landscape of Hollywood when it comes to filming big-budget tentpole films during the ongoing health crisis. 

Meanwhile, the return of Black Manta makes narrative sense due to the major tease from Aquaman's post-credits sequence. Despite that, it is currently unknown if Black Manta will serve as the chief adversary of the sequel or whether he will be relegated once more to a side villain for Arthur to face.

Aquaman director James Wan previously teased that the sequel will include more horror elements, citing the Trench sequence from the 2018 film as an example. It's possible that Black Manta could be involved in the “horror touches” that will be implemented since the villain's menacing and calculating nature is a natural fit to the approach. Given that Arthur is not aware that Black Manta survived their last fight, it appears that the King of Atlantis will never anticipate the villain's revenge in the sequel.

Whatever the case, Aquaman 2 is poised to be a much bigger adventure than the first film, and the sequel is primed to show the much-awaited rematch between Arthur and Black Manta in an exciting manner. 

- In This Article: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date
December 22, 2023
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.