After Aquaman, Geoff Johns Wants More Black Manta

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman

The following contains spoilers for Aquaman.

Aquaman is a certified hit, having brought in almost $200 million at the domestic box office, and over $750 million around the world. You can bet that the folks at Warner Bros. are already talking about the future of this particular corner of the DC film universe. And one thing we're very likely to get in that future is more Black Manta. This is because Geoff Johns, the former CCO of DC Comics, who now works as a producer of DC Comics related TV and movie content, thinks that not only do we need more Black Manta, a Black Manta focused movie isn't a bad idea. According to Johns...

There should be a Black Manta movie. That'd be a cool movie.

Black Manta is played in Aquaman by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The character starts out in the film as a pirate, hijacking a Russian submarine, before using Atlantean technology to build the famous Black Manta suit in order to go after Arthur Curry in an act of revenge. Since the character does survive the film, there's certainly the possibility that we could see him again. In fact, the film's post-credits sequence is designed to imply these two characters will meet again in the future.

Interestingly, considering how popular the character is, it seems that there was at least a brief moment where taking Black Manta out of the film was considered. Geoff Johns tells Geeks of Color that James Wan once told Geoff Johns that Manta's story might be "too big" for the film...

There was a moment when the script was really going and James texted me or emailed me, and said Black Manta's story may be too big for this movie. What do you think? And I didn't reply, I just went to his office and I said, 'Black Manta has to be in the movie.' He was like, 'I know!!!'

It's somewhat understandable that James Wan might want to hold off on using Black Manta Aquaman simply because he's such a popular character. Comic book movies are frequently criticized for trying to include too many villains, and with King Orm already the main big bad of the story, Black Manta can't take center stage, at least in the plot.

However, by linking the story of Orm and Black Manta together, and by giving Black Manta his own big one-on-one fight scene with Aquaman, the character still gets his moment to shine, which likely satisfied any serious fans who follow him in the comics or remember him as a member of the Legion of Doom on the old Super Friends cartoon series.

In fact, one can't help but wonder if that might end up being exactly where we'll get more Black Manta in the movies. Justice League ended with a reference that Lex Luthor was going to put together the Legion of Doom. Perhaps Black Manta will find his way into the evil organization for the next big DC superhero team-up movie.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.