Although Black Manta is chiefly known as an Aquaman villain, like many DC Comics villains, he’s ventured into other corners of the DC Comics universe, which includes some time served on the Suicide Squad in recent years. So now that Aquaman set up Black Manta within the DC Extended Universe, the character’s actor, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, is game to join the officially designated Task Force X, specifically so Manta can hang out with Harley Quinn.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II expressed interest in having Black Manta team up with the Suicide Squad this past weekend at Celebrity Fan Fest (via SuperBroMovies), noting in particular that he likes the prospect of having Manta and Harley Quinn, arguably the team’s most prominent member in the DCEU, share screen time.
There’s certainly enough groundwork for Black Manta to be added to the Suicide Squad in the future, and he could have an interesting dynamic with other characters on the team. That being said, it’s doubtful it’ll happen in time for Task Force X's next appearance in The Suicide Squad.
The James Gunn-written and directed DC movie is scheduled to begin production this fall, and while a variety of new recruits have already been reported to appear, including Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher, Peacemaker and King Shark, there’s been no mention of a Black Manta appearance. So unless The Suicide Squad is keeping Manta as a surprise, then it will be a longer wait for him to crossover over to that area of the DCEU, assuming that’s even an option.
For now, Black Manta, real name David Kane, is still firmly rooted in Aquaman’s world, and he has no intention of leaving Arthur Curry alone. When we last saw him in the Aquaman movie, Manta was drifting at sea, terribly injured following his battle against Arthur in Sicily. Fortunately, he was rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine biologist obsessed with proving to the surface world that Atlantis exists.
In exchange for Stephen Shin’s help in exacting revenge on Arthur Curry for the death of his father, Black Manta agreed to lead Shin to Atlantis. While no Aquaman 2 plot details have been officially confirmed yet, presumably we can expect these two to be the movie’s main villains. Depending on how the sequel ends, that could pave the way for him to join the Suicide Squad, but we’ll have to wait and see.
As for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II preferred cohort for Black Manta in the Suicide Squad, she has more than enough to keep her busy in the near future. She’s set to join forces with Huntress, Black Canary and Detective Renee Montoya to protect a young Cassandra Cain from Black Mask in next year’s Birds of Prey.
After that, she’ll return for The Suicide Squad, which also has Captain Boomerang, Amanda Waller and Rick Flag coming back. No plot details have been revealed about that project, but James Gunn is remaining cagey on whether we should look at it as a sequel, reboot or somewhere in between.
The Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5, 2021 and Aquaman 2 is slated for release on December 16, 2022. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest updates on both movies, and if you’re curious about what else the DCEU has coming down the pipeline, look through our handy guide.