Fans of the Black Manta from the first Aquaman film will be pleased to see that actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been relentlessly preparing for the character's return to the big screen in the upcoming sequel. And from the looks of it, the physical demands of portraying a comic book character in a superhero movie haven't subsided at all in recent years.

“BLACK MANTA Back Under Construction! #Aquaman2,” Abdul-Mateen II's Instagram caption for the post reads. The black and white photo finds the star standing in front of an incline bench donning sweatpants while shirtless on top, displaying his immaculate, chiseled figure for his followers to see. The actor has been hard at work in the gym as filming had just begun in London in late June.

The sequel to the first film is set for release in the United States on December 16, 2022, so it is still a ways out before fans will get to see Black Manta on screen again. The actor says he hopes to flesh out the character's personal journey and show more of his personality in the upcoming sequel. Returning cast members for the sequel include Jason Mamoa's infectious Aquaman character, along with Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, and Dolph Lundgren reprising their roles from the first film alongside Abdul-Mateen II. Director James Wan is also returning to man the camera for the sequel.

Abdul-Mateen II has kept incredibly busy in recent years in addition to his role as the famed comic book character. He appeared in Jordan Peele's Us and will star in the Peele-produced, Nia DaCosta-directed Candyman that will be out in theaters later this month. He has also appeared in prominent roles in HBO's Watchmen series and Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Check out a behind the scenes photo of Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta from the first film below. Are you excited for the Aquaman sequel?