AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Ripped As He Preps For Black Manta Return

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is looking seriously ripped as he heads to the gym to prepare for his return as Black Manta, while Jason Momoa speaks out to defend superhero movies.

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Cameras have already started rolling on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in the UK, and star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is clearly hard at work preparing to suit up as the villainous Black Manta again.

As you can see in the workout photo below, the actor is in phenomenal shape for his DC Extended Universe return and should be more than a match for Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry, the new King of Atlantis. We always knew this sequel would feature a rematch between the two, with 2018's Aquaman setting the stage for their rivalry to continue playing out on screen. 

Talking of Momoa, he recently spoke to the New York Times and defended superhero movies. 

"It's like how people say that music is poppy, and this music is cool. But you know how hard it is just to get your music out there for people to hear? It's all subjective," he said. "So, yeah, superhero movies are bubble gum, but they're like Greek mythology: They have good and evil and heartbreaking moments. And, gosh, you're taking away other art forms if you stop making them. You're taking away visual effects, you're taking away what you can do with makeup."

"I'm not someone who gets hired to play in a lot of cinema, but by being able to do a superhero movie, I can make a movie about something I really care about. I have a vision for the whole totality of Aquaman. There are environmental issues that I get to put into it. So while you're going, '[It's] just this popcorn movie,' I'm like, 'Well, I get to open people's eyes to things that are important to me.'"

Momoa makes a lot of compelling points here, and his comments make a lot more sense than those shared by Martin Scorsese, for example (the filmmaker appears to hate superheroes with a passion). 

We just hope Jason has been spending as much time in the gym as his formidable-looking co-star...

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