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Published On: Tue, Jul 24th, 2018

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talks ‘Aquaman’

Collider just published an interview from their set visit to Aquaman, speaking with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II about the film, playing Black Mantis and working with Geoff Johns.

There was a ton of excitement on bringing the famous costume to the big screen.

“Man, that thing is just badass, man,.” says Abdul-Mateen to the outlet. “It’s like, you know, I put it on, and you know, we have our ideas about what the character’s going to be, and so I bring all of that stuff to it. But then you put that thing on, and you see yourself in the mirror, and all of a sudden, I’m, you know, 10 feet taller in that thing, and I feel like I could bust through a wall. I talked about wanting to run through walls, and just break shit in my, you know, in my meeting with Peter, when I auditioned for the job. And, I put on that suit and everything’s just coming full circle, so…”

He notes that’s it taken directly from the comic books.

“Yeah. Which is what they want to see, you know, everyone, they kind of ask about what the themes are, what the ideas are, how are we going to mix it up, because in their minds, it’s kind of difficult to pull off in a cool way. You got this guy with this really big helmet, but I think we’re doing a really good job of taking care of it, and making sure that he’s accurate from the comic, but still proportional and still looks really cool.”

There was some silence on details, like his character having scars, so stay tuned.

“We meet Black Manta at a time where, it’s just him and his dad, and he’s riding on high, you know. He’s just come off of his win, and there’s a changing of the guards, so to speak. And then, this guy, Aquaman, comes in, and crashes the party. So, for Black Manta, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s an opportunity, “I just got this promotion, let me go prove myself, and step myself up and, you know, step it up once more.” So, in that first confrontation, you know, I’d like to think that Black Manta’s very excited about, “Okay, what it’s going to be like? This is that guy from around the way, who I’ve been hearing all these things about. And he’s supposed to be a badass, and now is my time to go show him who the real badass is around these parts.” And he’s riding on high, and at the climax, he loses his father. And so, we meet him at a time when he’s just, he’s on top and then, bam, immediately, an event happens, and he’s at the bottom. And he’s lost the only person who he’s ever loved, and cared for, and been able to show any type of, you know, expression, or those types of characteristics to. And then, from then on, you know, “It’s Aquaman’s fault!” He has very little else to live for, and so it becomes that revenge story. You have the relationship between fathers and sons, and the revenge that happens when a son loses his father, and then you have Aquaman, who is the heir to the throne, who doesn’t want to be king, so it’s an epic story.

Check out the full interview HERE

No surprise, it’s Geoff Johns who is key in the development.

“We sat down a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Los Angeles. He’s a big fan of the character. He loves him, and he’s seen some stuff, and he’s liked what he’s seen thus far, and so, yeah, he’s really… I mean, I was really excited to get across the table from him, and talk about the character, and just pick his brain about some of his ideas, and say, ‘Oh, okay, okay. I kind of see what you’re doing. This is where I think I’ll also start.’ We actually sat down, and we were pretty much in line with a lot of the ideas.”

Aquaman will be in theaters December 21st, 2018.

Jason Momoa’s Aquaman first briefly appeared in a silent cameo in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before reprising his role in last year’s Justice League.

Amber Heard stars as Aquaman’s love interest Mera, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Dolph Lundgrenas King Nereus, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, and Michael Beach as Jesse Kane.

Randall Park will be playing Dr. Stephen Shin, a comic book character known to help a young Aquaman develop his powers, but would later grow obsessed with finding out where the lost city of Atlantis was located. Shin is also a friend of Aquaman’s human father in the comic books.

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