Whether you're an avid comic book reader or grew up watching the Super Friends on TV, there's a good chance that if you're a fan of Aquaman, you're also a fan of his most iconic nemesis, Black Manta. You couldn't have a big screen Aquaman movie without bringing the character along for the ride, and while it's clear Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had a blast playing the character, it wasn't all fun and games. It turns out that suit isn't quite as much fun as it looks as it was incredibly heavy. According to the actor...
The biggest problem with the suit is that it's heavy. It's almost 100 pounds. It's real, it's functional, it's an expensive suit.
While most of the big superhero outfits of the day, like the Iron Man suit, are now more CGI than actual costume, it seems that Aquaman decided to make the Black Manta suit the real thing, at least from a physical sense, it probably doesn't shoot lasers. A costume that weighs 100 pounds, as the actor tells The IMDb Show, is no joke, it's got to be difficult to move around in the thing, and visibility with that helmet has to be less than great. It might make sense as a supervillain, but for an actor wearing something like that it must be a chore.
This isn't the first time we've heard about the difficulty that comes with bringing a popular comic book hero to life on screen. It's something of a regular occurrence now as more and more comic characters make the leap. When characters like Black Manta were created, no thought was given to the practicality of the costume, it was simply a question of what design looked the best on the page. Nobody worried about how such a thing would translate to film and a real person.
However, the characters have become such icons that people want to see them on screen just as they look in the comics. This means creating what might otherwise be an utterly impractical costume, like the massive helmet of Black Manta, just the way fans remember it.
It seems to have been worth it. Aquaman has become a massive hit and the highest grossing DC movie to date around the world. That's probably not entirely because Black Manta looks amazing, but that fact probably doesn't hurt either. He does look like his comic self jumped right off the comic page. Fans of the villain, and there are many, have to be satisfied with what they got.
Add to that the fact that odds are we'll see Black Manta again in the future of the DC universe, and it would appear Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will be getting quite the workout in his massive costume for the foreseeable future.