Patrick Wilson and Amber Heard also star in the Warner Bros. movie. James Wan is directing the superhero film with Peter Safran producing. Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, and Rob Cowan are executive producing.
Sources tell Variety that Abdul-Mateen beat out a short list of actors that included “Moonlight” breakout Trevante Rhodes and “24: Legacy” star Corey Hawkins.
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the casting.
The studio said last year that the title character would be caught between a surface world constantly ravaging the sea and the undersea Atlanteans, who are ready to lash out in revolt. Aquaman is based on the DC Comics character first introduced in the early 1940s who’s the king of Atlantis — a half-human and half-Atlantean named Arthur Curry.
Black Manta first appeared in 1967 comics as an antagonist to the underwater superhero.
Abdul-Mateen was also a finalist to play young Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff and can be seen next in “Baywatch” opposite Dwayne Johnson.
He is repped by Gersh.