Anticipation for Aquaman has been running high ever since Jason Momoa was officially announced as the mighty Atlantean – and not even the lacklustre performance of Justice League could derail that intense level of audience interest.
Chief among the elements of the film that fans cannot wait to see is the characterization of Aquaman’s villains – including their costumes. We know that several villainous characters will be making an appearance in the movie, but it is Black Manta, with his distinctive, almost insect-like helmet that’s in the limelight today.
Played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Black Manta is the supervillain alter-ego of David Hyde. He has had a somewhat fluctuating origin story in the DC comic books, but the most consistent was generally considered to be of him being a human who resents Aquaman and his sea kingdom for failing to rescue him from an abusive ship’s crew when he was a young man.
A variation of that had him abused by way of being subjected to experiments – which eventually led to his supervillainy. In the New 52 reboot of the DC comics, the tensions between Black Manta and Aquaman are a generational issue, with Black Manta seeking retribution against Aquaman for the actions of his father.
One of the questions for which fans have sought answers, regarding Black Manta, is whether we’ll see his iconic helmet in the film – or whether the pic would be more an opportunity to establish his origin. Well, director James Wan has now seemingly put that question to rest, with a picture shared on his Twitter account.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) February 2, 2018
Wan states that he’s “doing voice looping” here as part of the post-production process for Aquaman, and reveals that the highly technical way of making Black Manta’s voice sound like it’s echoing inside a giant helmet, is to have Yahya Abdul-Mateen II perform his dialogue into a trash can.
Will we be able to shake that image from our minds as we watch Black Manta make his big screen debut in Aquaman? We’ll find out on December 21st.