Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is about to star in all your favorite blockbusters. You’ve already seen him playing Aquaman’s villain Black Manta and Cal Abar in HBO’s Watchmen. Coming up, the 34-year-old actor is part of a number of major movies, but after that, he’d love to slow it down and turn on the charm for a rom-com.

Many of his biggest movies have yet to come out yet, and I can already tell Yahya Abdul-Mateen II can do it all. And his reasoning as to why he’d want to do a romantic comedy in Hollywood will make you swoon too. In his words:

We need more romance. We have adventure. We have action. We’ve got a lot of stories about trauma, because trauma is very present in our world right now. But we also need love. We need more straight-up, old-school romance. I don’t mind putting my hand up and stepping into that place to say, ‘I’ll be your man, girl.’ I don’t mind that at all.

Whatever happened to the rom-com? We just don’t see it much anymore. Romantic comedies used to be a key lifeblood in Hollywood, with actors like Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan and Hugh Grant being regulars in the genre. Their movies are still well beloved today and certainly continue to be mainstays on many of our Netflix queues.

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It’s nice to hear a rising star such as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II share his interest in more tender and lighthearted fun in Hollywood to Essence amidst a landscape that seems to get darker by the minute. Tragedy is the name of the game more often than not when it comes to popular storytelling at the moment. Just look at the highest-grossing movies of 2021: A Quiet Place Part II and Godzilla vs. Kong. That’s two movies that lean on the downfall of cities to an entire planet for entertainment.

I hope Yahya Abdul-Mateen II gets his rom-com. And he's not the only one who wants in on this kind of movie, as Star Wars’ John Boyega also shared his interest in the genre before. Even though romance movies are not given a lot of ‘high’ status today, there are truly some incredible movies from the genre that will never be forgotten and are often on people’s most watched and favorite movies. They are comfort movies and ones film fans love to go back to over and over. We’d love to see the actor’s more sensitive side, especially after taking on so many huge movies.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s next movie is Candyman, which will be a spiritual sequel to the ‘90s horror classic. It’s coming this August before the actor also stars in The Matrix 4 with Keanu Reeves, coming this December. He will also be in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with Jason Momoa and Mad Max spinoff Furiosa coming in 2023.

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