Someone involved with the Aquaman production must really like Baz Lurhrmann.
Two big names from the acclaimed director’s past projects have popped up literally within hours of each other in association with the DC Comics standalone film as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is said to have been offered the part of villain Black Manta, while Nicole Kidman could play the mother of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Abdul-Mateen is one of the stars of Lurhmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, where he plays Cadillac, who is known as the “prince of the disco world.”
Kidman, of course, has a long association with the director, beginning with the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge and continuing with 2008’s lesser-known Australia. Kidman also appeared in a Luhrmann short in 2004 for Chanel No. 5.
Black Manta first appeared in DC’s Aquaman comics in 1967, and is considered the superhero’s arch-nemesis. He has two different origin stories, the first introduced in 1993 as a boy kidnapped from his home in Baltimore and forced to work on a ship where he was sexually abused.
At one point, he sees Aquaman playing with dolphins in the distance, but the hero doesn’t seem him. This angers Manta, and he vows to become the new leader of the ocean.
A second origin story was introduced a decade later that had the young boy who would become Black Manta as a patient at the Arkham Asylum in Gotham, who preferred freezing cold water and absolutely hated cotton sheets. So he would be restrained to the bed before undergoing an experimental treatment that made him violent and allowed him to escape.
Kidman could play Atlanna, a member of Atlantis royalty who becomes impregnated through a dream that involved Atlan, and later dies in prison. However, she is resurrected as a mermaid, thanks to the supervillain Charybdis.
The Get Down is a first major role for Abdul-Mateen, who has since picked up parts in Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming comedy Baywatch as well as Hugh Jackman’s biopic on P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman.
Kidman, who won an Oscar in 2003 for The Hours, recently earned her fourth nomination for Lion. She’s also one of the stars of HBO’s upcoming Big Little Lies, and is set to appear in the Neil Burger comedy The Untouchables with Bryan Cranston.
Aquaman is set to hit theaters Oct. 5, 2018.
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