New Image of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Getting Jacked For “Aquaman 2”

Black Manta isn’t messing around.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is returning for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and he’s making sure he’s prepared. In a brand new Instagram post, the man who plays Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta can be seen at the gym getting to work. The caption, “Under Construction! #Aquaman2” lets you know that he’s building himself up for director James Wan‘s return trip to Atlantis. (For you weightlifters out there, there appears to be 220lb worth of weights on the bar.)

The last time we left Black Manta, he was being dispatched by Aquaman (Jason Momoa) after an epic fight, Manta wearing brand new armor provided by Aquaman’s other foe in the first film, Patrick Wilson’s King Orm. It seemed fairly clear at the time that although Manta lost the fight (and just barely), we hadn’t seen the last of him. Black Manta—known as David Kane in his non-villain life—was not lusting after power like Wilson’s King Orm. He had a beef with Aquaman over the death of his father (played by Michael Beach in Aquaman). Manta and his dad were deep-sea pirates of a sort, and when they ran into Aquaman, things went sideways, and Manta lost his father during the fight. From that moment forward, Aquaman was his sworn enemy.

Now it looks like Aquaman’s going to have his hands full:

Abdul-Mateen II is a rising star, and despite his obvious physical gifts, he’s often a very warm, nimble performer. That was evident in his touching portrayal of a notoriously icy literary figure when he humanized the inhuman Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s stellar Watchmen. You’ll see him next in Nia DaCosta’s highly-anticipated horror film Candyman, as well as in Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix 4. 

When it comes time to see the man’s work in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, you know he’ll be ready—if a picture’s worth a thousand words, in the above case, it’s also worth thousands and thousands of pounds of weights lifted.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is due in theaters on December 16, 2022.

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Featured image: YAHYA ABDUL-MATEEN II as Black Manta in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “AQUAMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Credit: Jasin Boland/ ™ & © DC Comics


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