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Aquaman 2: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is preparing to play Black Manta in new Instagram post

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Aquaman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Aquaman 2 star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is hard at work preparing for his role in the sequel, according to a new Instagram post from the actor. 

Abdul-Mateen plays David Kane, AKA Black Manta, in the DCEU – the antagonist of 2018's Aquaman. In the first movie, he and his father are pirates hired by Aquaman's brother Orm to hijack a Russian submarine. When Aquaman intervenes, a battle ensues, and David's father is killed. David swears vengeance on Aquaman and confronts him as Black Manta at the end of the movie – although he isn't successful, it's safe to say that he'll continue his mission for revenge in the sequel.

The photo on Abdul-Mateen's Instagram shows the actor in the gym with at least 100kg of weight on the bar beside him. "BLACK MANTA Back Under Construction!" the caption reads. 

The upcoming sequel, titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, sees James Wan return as director. Alongside Adbul-Mateen, Jason Momoa will reprise the role of Arthur Curry (AKA Aquaman), while Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, and Dolph Lundgren will also return as Mera, Orm, and King Nereus. Filming on the movie began in June this year.

After his critically acclaimed turn in The Trial of the Chicago 7, we can next see Abdul-Mateen in Nia DaCosta's Candyman sequel and the (currently untitled) Matrix 4, as well as Michael Bay's upcoming action thriller Ambulance. 

While we wait for Aquaman 2 to arrive in theaters on December 16, 2022, make sure you're caught up on the DCEU with our guide to watching the DC movies in order.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.