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Black Manta Almost Didn’t Make It Into Aquaman

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If you’ve seen Aquaman, you know that Black Manta plays an important role in the proceedings, and former DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns—who also happens to be one of the screenwriters on the film—wouldn’t have it any other way. In a recent interview, he made this clear when asked about the prospect of an Aquaman film without this colourful villain. “It’s impossible,” he told Geeks of Color. “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!”

In spite of this, Johns recalls a time in pre-production when Black Manta almost fell by the wayside. “There was a moment when the script was really going and [director] James [Wan] 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!’”

As for the inevitable Aquaman sequels, Johns sees a future for Black Manta—and another adversary you may remember from the comics. “There’s a villain called the Scavenger I really like,” he said. “That guy is a cool character and is a really freaky character. He is in the same Black Manta family though. I want more Black Manta first!”

Aquaman is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.