Does anyone remember that Nicole Kidman was Dr Chase Meridian, the love interest in Batman Forever? Well, everything old is new again, with the news that the Australian icon is in talks to appear as Atlanna, Aquaman’s mother, in James Wan’s watery superhero epic, soon to start shooting in Queensland.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story, noting that “In traditional Aquaman lore, the hero’s mother is Atlanna, who hails from royalty in the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. She escapes her kingdom and falls in love with a lighthouse keeper, giving birth to the boy who will one day grow up to be a bridge between two worlds.”
In other news, a new villain has been cast: Black Manta will be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, recently seen in The Get Down:
Black Manta is canonically Aquaman’s arch-enemy, although how they handle his origin in the movie is going to be interesting. Like many comics characters, Black Manta’s past has been rejigged at least once; originally, he was a young man who Aquaman failed to rescue from being kidnapped and raped, but later on was given the (at the time) more palatable backstory of being an autistic youth whose atypical neurology drove him to seek the solace of the sea – and super-villainy. We can’t see either of those going down well with a contemporary audience, so expect an all-new, all-different Black Manta origin when he makes his big screen debut.