"I think the script is better than it was in the first one," Abdul-Mateen shared in his cover story profile. "It gives the actors a lot of good storytelling moments."
Abdul-Mateen had a smaller role in the first film, playing Aquaman's famed nemesis Black Manta, who is set to take the stage as a much more significant antagonist in the forthcoming sequel.
"In Aquaman, we just got a small introduction to Black Manta and to some of his motivations. In this one, I get to exercise and breathe a little bit more," he shared. "I’m showing some different colors with this one."
Apart from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Abdul-Mateen has a seriously impressive slate of projects hitting theaters in the near future -- with Candyman, the Michael Bay-directed action heist movie Ambulance, and the hotly anticipated Mad Max: Fury Road sequel, Furiosa.
He's also set to star inThe Matrix 4, the long-awaited sequel to the groundbreaking sci-fi saga, and he reflected on what it was like being a part of the iconic franchise.
"I remember Keanu and his first line. I looked up, and there was Keanu, and I said, ‘Oh s**t, I’m really in The Matrix,'" Abdul-Mateen recalled. "It was just Keanu in that voice."
Abdul-Mateen explained how the film is "so ambitious" with how it pushes the limits of technological filmmaking -- just as the original Matrix did when it hit theaters in 1999 -- and reflected on what it was like shooting the project during this challenging time.
"It was really interesting to be making Matrix 4 at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted," he said. "It could creep in a little bit if you let it."