Movies & TV Shows

Black Manta’s Villain Origin Continues

Warner Bros. unveils footage from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at CinemaCon, and it shows Black Manta’s villain origin continuing from the first film.

Warner Bros. screened new footage from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at CinemaCon that confirms Black Manta’s villain origin story continues. The DCEU film is a direct sequel to 2018’s Aquaman, which starred Jason Momoa as the titular hero, otherwise known as Arthur Curry. The sixth film in the DC Extended Universe also saw Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portray the ruthless pirate and mercenary David Kane, who dons an Atlantean-powered suit to become Black Manta and take on Momoa’s character. Both will return for Aquaman 2, which was delayed from December 2022 to March 2023.

Aquaman briefly presented Black Manta’s origin story when it revealed Arthur killed the leader of a pirate gang attempting to hijack a Russian submarine. David, the son of the slain pirate leader, vows revenge against Arthur. Later on in Aquaman, the present king of Atlantis, Orm Marius (Patrick Wilson), gifts David the Atlantean battle suit to kill Arthur. David rechristens himself as Black Manta and manages to injure Arthur; however, Arthur ultimately defeats him. Despite that, Aquaman‘s mid-credits scene shows marine biologist Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) rescue David, who agrees to lead Shin to the fabled Atlantis in exchange for his help in getting revenge on Arthur.

Related: Aquaman 2 Delay Saves The Movie By Avoiding Its Biggest Competition

During Warner Bros’ presentation at CinemaCon, which Screen Rant was present for, the studio premiered new footage from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Although not a ton of footage from the actual movie is shown, it does briefly tease Black Manta’s villain origin continuing. The teaser opens with Black Manta on a brand new ship, and it appears a dark energy has taken over him as he races towards his revenge quest against Arthur. The CinemaCon footage also presents Momoa wearing the classic Aquaman orange costume in every shot and ends with the superhero fighting a large but unfinished CGI creature.

Aquaman battling Black Manta in Sicily in James Wan's Aquaman

In recent interviews, Abdul-Mateen II has revealed that Aquaman 2 will show more of Black Manta’s personality. This supposedly will include showcasing the villain’s leadership skills, which were briefly teased in the beginning of Aquaman. The actor would also go on to tease that Black Manta will get more screen time in The Lost Kingdom, implying that his character will most likely serve as Aquaman’s primary antagonist – a theory further corroborated by the character’s prevalence in the CinemaCon footage.

While many fans praised Black Manta’s design in Aquaman, some felt he was underdeveloped and would have been better served in another film. Warner Bros. was planning a Black Manta solo film after Aquaman; however, it was later scrapped. Hopefully, as the CinemaCon footage implies, elements of the Black Manta spin-off will be incorporated into Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and the character will play more of a role in the 2023 film.

Next: All 19 DC Movies Releasing After The Batman

Source: Warner Bros.

  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
  • The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022

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