Tenoch Huerta has been reportedly cast as Namor and will be the main villain/anti-hero in the Black Panther sequel
Tenoch Huerta of Narcos fame has been reportedly chosen for the role of Namor the Submariner in the MCU. The character will debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The character has a complex history and will make for an interesting addition to the MCU family of superheroes.
Rights to the Character
It was back in the 1990s that Marvel Studios sold Namor’s rights to Universal. And while the general rights did revert to Marvel later on, Kevin Feige, in 2018, explained the character’s movie rights as “not as clean and clear” as that of other characters.
This might be an issue similar to that of Hulk whose solo-movie distribution rights are still owned by Universal. This means that Namor may not have his own film but can play a role as a supporting character.
Watch: Black Panther 2 – Tenoch Huerta is Namor, Atlantis Mayan Empire, Doctor Doom?
Earlier References in the MCU
Namor may have arrived a bit late in the MCU. But Marvel had already teased his presence long back and multiple times.
- The first teaser was in Iron-Man 2 (2010). At the end of the movie where Tony and Fury are talking about the Avengers Initiative, behind Tony we see a screen with a world map. It showed locations that SHIELD was monitoring as spots of mysterious events. One was Wakanda and just beside it in the middle of the Atlantic was another spot under the sea, the mythical kingdom of Atlantis.
- The next reference was in Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014). It showed the Lemurian Star, a ship that was to be used for Project Insight. In the Marvel comics, Lemuria was a country, ruled by the Deviants and a rival to Atlantis, which sank under the ocean.
- The final reference was in Avengers: Endgame (2019). During the meeting in the First act, Natasha Romanoff spoke to other superheroes from multiple locations, and one of them was Okoye. She mentioned underwater earthquakes off the coast of Africa. Although the writers of Avengers: Endgame debunked this connection, fans suspect it as a true one.
History in the Comics
In the Marvel comics, Namor is a Human-Atlantean hybrid whose relationship with the surface world is quite tense. During World War II, he was a hero and fought the Nazis alongside Captain America and the superhero team known as Invaders.
His hatred towards humanity is very recent and reached its peak when Atlantis ended up in a war with Wakanda. This was the result of a Namor-led attack on Wakanda by a team of five mutants (including Namor) who possessed the Phoenix Force.
The reason was that Wakanda provided refuge to the Avengers while the mutants were planning to rule the planet. The attack cost thousands of Wakandan lives and it could not go unavenged. Thus began the long war between Wakanda and Atlantis that almost led to the destruction of both civilizations. This was a part of a build-up that later led to the “Secret Wars” events.
Future of Namor in the MCU
The arrival of Namor the Submariner opens up doors to more opportunities and contributes more to the blueprint of future MCU movies and shows. Namor has a past with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and many others. He has been a hero, an anti-hero, and a villain. He is also one of Marvel’s first mutants. Thus he also paves way for the arrival of the mutants to the MCU.
Writer/director Ryan Coogler has already proved his mastery at world-building through Black Panther. And we believe that we will do justice to Atlantis and show it as compelling a location he did Wakanda in the MCU. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will arrive at the theatres on July 8, 2022. It stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, and Martin Freeman.