James Wan reveals the canceled Trench movie was actually a Black Manta spinoff

Black Manta in Aquaman
(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

The scrapped DC movie The Trench was actually going to be a Black Manta film, Aquaman director James Wan has revealed.

"I'll let you in on a secret, the canceled Trench spin-off movie was really going to be a secret Black Manta movie," Wan wrote in an Instagram comment on a post showing off the character's costume and tech in the upcoming Aquaman 2.

The Trench, along with Ava DuVernay's New Gods movie, were scrapped back in April.

"As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward," Warner Bros. and DC said in a statement at the time. "We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future."

Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, made his DCEU debut in Aquaman, and will return in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. "I think the script is better than it was in the first one. It gives the actors a lot of good storytelling moments," Abdul-Mateen has said of the sequel. "In Aquaman, we just got a small introduction to Black Manta and to some of his motivations. In this one, I get to exercise and breathe a little bit more. I'm showing some different colors with this one."

While it sounds like the original idea has been shelved, here's hoping we can see a Black Manta solo project sometime in the future. In the meantime, Abdul-Mateen can be seen in this year's The Matrix Resurrections, playing the iconic character Morpheus

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is slated to arrive December 16, 2022. Until then, check out how to watch DC movies in order to get up to speed on the DCEU.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.