Who Is The Villain In Aquaman 2?

DC's current foray into comic book movies has been ... interesting. 2016's "Suicide Squad" was critically panned, so James Gunn's retooling is on its way later this year. "Justice League" also failed to meet critics' expectations; that is until the much-hyped Snyder Cut was released. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" is best forgotten. Wonder Woman's first solo outing performed well, but its sequel fell short. The upcoming Flash film is rumored to have multiple versions of characters ... in addition to their The CW counterparts. And "The Batman" has been generating a lot of troublesome headlines.

Amidst all that, one character seems to be riding a wave (pun very much intended) of success. When "Aquaman" premiered in 2018, the critical reaction was favorable, earning a critics score of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and over $1 billion at the box office, more than any other non-Christopher Nolan DC film (via The Hollywood Reporter). Director James Wan recently revealed the title of the Atlantean's next outing, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," and everyone is wondering who the big bad will be.

Black Manta is back, but will he have help?

Admittedly, very little is known about "Lost Kingdom." In addition to Jason Momoa reprising the title role, several "Aquaman" actors are slated to return for the sequel. Patrick Wilson, who played the villainous Orm, and Amber Heard, who played Mera, are both set to return, as is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who filled the smaller-than-expected role of Black Manta. Based on the mid-credits scene, it's a safe bet that Black Manta's presence in the sequel will have greater impact. But is he the main villain? Not so fast.

Back in April 2021, Deadline broke the news that Pilou Asbæk was joining the cast, though his specific role is yet unknown. "Game of Thrones" fans will recognize Asbæk from his time as Euron Greyjoy, the cruel and calculated pirate who had the tongues of his crew removed because he needed some quiet time. Asbæk also played Nazi captain Wafner in 2018's "Overlord" (via IMDb). Given his resume, and how well he plays the bad guy, it'd come as little surprise if Wan cast Asbæk in an equally devilish role.

With "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" still a year and a half away from release, there's sure to be more tidbits revealed, though we might not learn the identity of the film's main antagonist until we're sitting in the theater.