‘Aquaman’: Yahya Abdul-Mateen Cast As Black Manta; Nicole Kidman In Talks
Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 at 7:25 pm
While Warner Bros. and DC try to figure out how to lock down a director for The Batman, James Wan is moving ahead with Aquaman. An image of a table read with Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and Patrick Wilson showed things were progressing very nicely.
Now it looks like the cast will grow. A new report says The Get Down‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has signed on the play Black Manta, while Nicole Kidman is in talks to play Aquaman’s mother. More on both of these stories below.
THR was the first to report on both stories. First, Abdul-Mateen II. According to the report, he is in talks to play Black Manta, one of DC’s most infamous deep-sea villains. Wan and company met with a number of actors for the past two weeks, but decided on Abdul-Mateen II over the weekend. The actor was also in the running to play Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff. While he lost the role to Donald Glover, Abdul-Mateen can next be seen alongside Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron in Baywatch, and in The Greatest Showman, a musical biopic about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.
When Black Manta was a young child, he was kidnapped and forced to work aboard a ship where he was abused. He tried to escape by signaling Aquaman and his dolphin friends. However, his cries for help went unnoticed. So he escaped on his own by killing his captors. He then made an oath to claim the ocean and be its master. Another origins story says Black Manta was an autistic young boy who had a fear of water and was the subject of scientific experiments to help him calm down. These “treatments” caused him to be violent, and kill his doctor.
As for Kidman, she is in talks to play as Aquaman’s mother. While she has yet to ink the deal, the actor has been Wan’s top choice for the role. This wouldn’t be the first time the actress has been circling a DC project. She first played Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever, then was rumored to have a role in the upcoming Wonder Woman.
Though her origins story changes, she is best known as the Atlantian who fell in love with a lighthouse keeper. Eventually, she gave birth to Arthur Curry (Momoa) a half human-half Atlantian who would become King of Atlantis.
Should the both of them sign on they would join Amber Heard, who plays Mera, Aquaman’s royal love interest; Willem Dafoe as Dr. Vulko, Aquaman’s advisor and chief scientist; and Wilson who will play Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother and the villainous Ocean Master.
Production is set to start sometime in April and will shoot in Australia.
Warner Bros. has scheduled Aquaman for a October 5, 2018 release.