What the 'Aquaman' Post-Credits Scene Means for 'Aquaman 2' and the DCEU

"I would be really excited about continuing to develop the character," the surprise star of the scene tells Inverse.

Aquaman is finally here! So let’s get into some post-credits spoilers. If you’re here to find out whether you should stay after the credits start to roll the answer is yes (more on that here in a spoiler-free context). If you’re already seen the bonus scene and you’re ready to discuss it, read on for more context and an interview with the star of Aquaman’s post-credits scene.

Warning: Spoilers for Aquaman ahead, but you already knew that.

In case you need a quick refresher, here’s what happens after the credits start to role in Aquaman. Out in the ocean we see Black Manta floating on a raft. He’s badly injured after his fight with Aquaman in Sicily and his helmet is busted, but he somehow survived.

Black Manta in 'Aquaman'
Black Manta in 'Aquaman'

Next, we see him recovering in a room while Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) tinkers with the helmet. All of a sudden the helmet fires off a laser beam. Shin turns to Manta and asks where he got what’s clearly Atlantean technology.

Shin doesn’t get much backstory in the film (he’s mostly just portrayed as a scientist who likes to go on cable news and rant about Atlantis), but in the comics, he actually knows Arthur Curry (aka, Aquaman). The two work together until Aquaman refuses to reveal the location of Atlantis. That’s when Shin turns on the superhero.

Dr. Stephen Shin in the comics
Dr. Stephen Shin in the comics

The implication seems to be that Black Manta and Dr. Shin will team up in Aquaman 2 to track down the hero and steal even more technology from Atlantis. DC still hasn’t confirmed a sequel is happening at all, but considering the excitement around this movie we definitely wouldn’t rule it out.

Dr. Shin with Black Manta
Dr. Shin with Black Manta

In an interview, Black Manta actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II tells Inverse he’d be interested in returning to the role.

“I would be really excited about continuing to develop the character that people are beginning to know,” he says. “He’s a guy who’s vicious. A guy who has a lot of soul and a lot of heart and wit. I think anything that comes next, I’ll be excited about the vibe of this character.”

Abdul-Mateen II added that he immediately realized the implication of his character showing up in Aquaman’s post-credits scene. After all, it’s no secret that companies like Marvel and DC use that extra bit of screen time to tease whatever’s coming next in their respective cinematic universe.

“There’s so much curiosity and conversation involved,” he says. “I thought it was really cool that I was ostensibly the character that will be part of that conversation.”

aquaman post credits scene spoilers
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Finally, we couldn’t let the Black Manta actor go without asking one burning question: How the hell did he survive that fight with Aquaman in the first place?

“I think he has a very well built suit that’s designed to take a couple big hits,” Abdul-Mateen II says. “I think that’s the only way. Also, maybe a lot of grit and a lot of desire to get back at this Aquaman guy.”

Aquaman is in theaters now.

Media via Warner Bros., DC Comics