Geoff Johns Says There Should Be A Black Manta Solo Movie After Aquaman


Though the new Aquaman sees Patrick Wilson’s Orm as the main villain, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s take on David Kane, aka Black Manta, has certainly earned its fans, among whom is DC head honcho Geoff Johns.

The Wonder Woman 1984 co-writer claimed in a recent interview with Geeks of Color that an Aquaman movie without Black Manta simply couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be done.

“It’s impossible. It’s like doing a Batman movie without the Batmobile. You just shouldn’t do it. Some people were like, you can’t do the big helmet. It’s like saying Joker without the smile!”

Johns himself worked on the story for Arthur Curry’s solo debut, and during his collaboration with director James Wan, having to fit David Kane’s arc into the film was reportedly a source of some difficulty and stress.

“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!!!’”

Despite a runtime that stretches to almost two-and-a-half-hours, Aquaman only has so many scenes it can give over to Black Manta, so it’s probably a good thing that Abdul-Mateen seems game for future films. As the actor himself has observed, David Kane has been known to pop up in a variety of different comic book storylines opposite the likes of Arthur Curry and the Suicide Squad, but if you ask Johns, the popular villain ought to have a movie of his own:

“There should be a Black Manta movie. That’d be a cool movie.”

While it doesn’t look like Warner Bros. has any plans for a Black Manta solo flick right now, the post-credits scene of Aquaman suggests big plans for the character in the follow-up, and given how well the movie has been doing this month at the box office, it’s safe to say that the sequel is a go.

Though Aquaman 2 is presumably still a long wait away, there might well be opportunities for Black Manta to show up in other projects in the meantime, be it Suicide Squad 2 or maybe even Birds of Prey, but before all that, director David F. Sandberg is set to explore a very different part of the DCEU when Shazam! comes out on April 5th, 2019.