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Aquaman 2 star calls superhero movies “clown work”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is set to return to the DCEU opposite Jason Momoa in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom — but he isn't sure about superhero movies

yahya clown

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has spoken out after comments he made referring to superhero movies as “clown work” went viral. In Aquaman 2, the Ambulance star is set to play classic DC villain David Kane, who is otherwise known as Black Manta and Aquaman’s arch nemesis.

Yahya opened up about his acting process in an interview with Vulture, wherein he had some choice words about the superhero movie genre. “Everything should be about getting to the truth. But sometimes you got to know which movie or genre you’re in,” he said. “Something like Aquaman, that’s clown work. Aquaman is not The Trial of the Chicago 7. You gotta get over yourself.”

He continued, “In order to survive and to do it well, you have to play that game and then be crafty about when you want to surprise the audience, the director, or yourself with a little bit of ‘Wow, I didn’t expect to see a Chekhovian thing or August Wilson and Aquaman, but I did.'”

These comments by the DCEU star didn’t go down well on social media, which led to Yahya responding to the backlash with a tongue-in-cheek tweet where he’s pictured wearing a clown nose.

The tweet, which is hashtagged #justiceforclowns, reads, “Tempted to clarify, but for that’s no fun. Instead, here’s a pic of myself on the way to work on Trial of Chicago 7. Spy anything?”

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in cinemas December 2023. But if this piece has got you in the mood for some clownery, check out our guide to the best comedy movies.