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The Aquaman movie may have just cast the hero's most dangerous villain, plus his mom

DC Films is eyeing an A-lister and an up-and-coming star for key roles in James Wan’s Aquaman. Nicole Kidman is in talks to play the hero’s Atlantean mother, and The Get Down star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been cast as the villainous Black Manta.

THR says Kidman is in early talks to join the film and may play the role of Atlanna. In the comics, that character is an ancient citizen of Atlantis who survived the sinking of the continent and later fell in love with a human lighthouse keeper. Their child is Aquaman (Jason Momoa). If Kidman signs on the dotted line, it would mark her return to comic book films following her appearance as Dr. Chase Meridian in the underrated Batman Forever. 

The current Oscar nominee was up for a part in DC’s Wonder Woman solo movie at one point, but scheduling conflicts ended up taking her out of the running for that project. Kidman has reportedly been Wan’s top choice for weeks, so it seems likely this one will stick, proving that despite the DCEU’s creative troubles (most recently losing Ben Affleck as director of The Batman), they’re still aces at securing top-tier talent for their mega-budgeted blockbusters.

Meanwhile, Variety says that Abdul-Mateen beat out Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes and Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins for the baddie role of Black Manta. Traditionally, that character dons a high-tech suit loaded with weaponry that allows him to tangle with Aquaman underwater, but his identity and origins are mysterious. Abdul-Mateen is clearly on the rise, coming out of nowhere in The Get Down and locking down roles in the upcoming Baywatch movie and Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman to boot.

These actors will join Jason Momoa, Amber Heard (Mera), and Patrick Wilson (Orm/Ocean Master) in the undersea thriller, which is slated for release on October 5, 2018.

Images: Warner Bros./Netflix

Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.