Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is preparing for his return in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom as seen in the latest photo shared to the actor's Instagram page. In the upcoming sequel, Abdul-Mateen will reprise his role as Black Manta alongside fellow returning stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, and Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master. Abdul-Mateen's Instagram photo teases his return by providing a peek at his preparation process, which you can see below.
Whilst relaxing on a bed, the actor appears to be in a discussion on the phone with an unseen party, perhaps someone involved with Aquaman 2. With a pen in the other hand, he looks to be going through a binder filled with white sheets of paper. Could this be the Aquaman 2 screenplay? In any case, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is keeping things vague, as all he wrote in the caption was the simple name of "Aquaman."
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's return in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is no secret. He previously confirmed his involvement in a 2019 interview with Uproxx. At the time, he spoke about how the sequel was a go with a plan for it to be released in 2022. Of course, the actor had no way of knowing that 2020 would change everything in Hollywood, resulting in a significant delay for Aquaman 2. The good news is that filming is finally about to begin on the sequel.
"Aquaman 2 is happening! It is happening, and we can look for that, I believe, in 2022," Abdul-Mateen said. "So I'm excited to be part of that. Black Manta will be back, and hopefully, he'll be causing a lot more trouble than he did in the first one."
The actor's co-star Amber Heard has been teasing her return regularly on her own Instagram account. She previously posted an image of herself in the gym, revealing that her training on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom had already begun. More recently, she posted another picture of herself with Jason Momoa and noted that she was "ready" to reunite with the actor to soon start filming the sequel. The controversy surrounding her casting doesn't seem to have affected her involvement.
Aquaman was directed by James Wan and written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall. Along with Momoa, Heard, Wilson, and Abdul-Mateen, the movie starred Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman. It grossed more than $1.14 billion at the box office, making it the highest-grossing movie based on a DC Comics character.
Abdul-Mateen is also known for his acclaimed roles in Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the HBO series Watchmen. He also has a starring role in the Candyman reboot directed by Nia DaCosta, which will be released in theaters by Universal Pictures this August after pandemic-related delays. Abdul-Mateen is also attached to The Matrix 4 and the upcoming Michael Bay action thriller Ambulance.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is currently scheduled to be released on Dec. 16, 2022. It's not clear exactly when the cameras will start rolling, but going by what the actors are sharing on social media, we must be getting very close to production. It had previously been reported that the movie would start filming in Summer 2021. This news comes to us from Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on Instagram. Collider was the first to drop this news.