If you’ve been keeping up to date with the ever-growing cast list for Aquaman, you’ll know that Michael Beach has been linked with the movie for the last couple of months. First off, he was snapped on set in Australia alongside Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (who’s set to suit up as Black Manta in the film). Later that month, he virtually revealed the role that he could be playing on Twitter. When asked by a fan if he was portraying Black Manta’s father, Beach teasingly replied: “Yes or no… correct!”
Now, Deadline have finally confirmed that Michael Beach is indeed going to be a part of the movie. Intriguingly, the site claims that he’s set to play a character named Jesse Kane, who Deadline describes as “part of a group of high-seas hijackers who has a fateful interaction with Aquaman.”
While the name means nothing in DC lore, the phrasing of “a fateful interaction with Aquaman” could confirm that Beach is playing Black Manta’s father. In the villain’s origin in The New 52 continuity, Black Manta grows to hate Arthur Curry because he accidentally killed his dad. In the comics, the confrontation came about because Manta Sr. had attacked Arthur’s father, Thomas Curry.
If Beach has indeed been brought on board as Black Manta’s old man, it would be a perfect piece of fan-pleasing casting. That’s because the actor previously voiced Devil Ray on the fondly-remembered Justice League Unlimited animated series. The character was very clearly based off Black Manta but they couldn’t use the name due to the rights being tied up in an ultimately unmade Aquaman TV series, which was in the works at the time.
Michael Beach joins a hugely star-studded cast, one led by Jason Momoa and Amber Heard and also featuring Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, Temuera Morrison and many more. Aquaman swims into cinemas on December 21st, 2018.