Ever since DC Films launched their own cinematic universe with DCEU, we’ve seen so many film projects announced/developed in-house only to be never made or thrown into limbo. Some of those films include Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film, Zack Snyder’s second Justice League movie, Lobo, Sgt. Rock, Joker & Harley Quinn, Man of Steel 2, Nightwing, Steven Spielberg’s Blackhawk, Ava DuVernay’s New Gods, and an Aquaman spinoff, The Trench, and even more.
The Trench is an interesting spinoff as the horror-inspired project was seen as New Line Cinema retrofitting an existing submarine thriller film The Volos from writers Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald into a DC Comics project. Only for it to get dumped by the studio alongside New Gods back in April.
There is word from Aquaman’s James Wan on Instagram (spotted by io9) that The Trench was actually a secret Black Manta movie, something that was never mentioned publicly by the studio or Wan, the film’s producer. A shocking revelation from the producer and filmmaker.
“I’ll let you in on a secret, the canceled Trench spin-off movie was really going to be a secret Black Manta movie.”
This would have meant Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman, Watchmen) would have led the project, and seems weird it never got the green light, in retrospect given how popular the actor has become at Warner Bros. taking key roles in The Matrix Resurrections and the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa along with his return for Aquaman & The Lost Kingdom.
Considering projects like Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, and Joker focused on DC Comics villains it feels odd they didn’t move forward with this Black Manta movie given Aquaman was a billion-dollar hit. It comes off as yet another example of the studio fumbling the DC franchise as the projects announced that don’t reach the finished line continue to pile up.
Will the studio circle back? That remains to be seen.
Speaking of the Aquaman sequel, it will be released on December 16, 2022, and has Black Manta expected to have a bigger role.
SOURCE: JAMES WAN