Marvel star Winston Duke, who will soon return as M’Baku in the MCU sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has compared the arrival of Namor the Sub-Mariner to that of DC’s fellow underwater ruler, Aquaman. In an interview with the LA Times, Duke explains how the portrayal of Namor, a Marvel icon set to make his debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will be “a lot more real than fiction” and far more than just “another Aquaman.”
“In our version, it feels a lot more real than fiction. In the MCU fashion, we’ve grounded it in real cultural significance and cultural traditions. You see the Latinx contingent that is present visually. Ryan Coogler’s creation within the Marvel cinematic landscape is one of deep honor and connection to real stuff. So I think a lot of people are gonna see themselves represented.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will find the leaders of the kingdom of Wakanda fighting to protect their nation from invading forces in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje must come together to fight to protect their nation from a mysterious threat from beneath the sea. Those “invading forces” will come from beneath the ocean, with Namor emerging from his underwater kingdom and declaring war on Wakanda.
Official merchandise from the Marvel follow-up has revealed several major changes that will be made to Namor and the kingdom of Atlantis when the character makes his MCU debut. An official tie-in figure has revealed that Namor will not rule over Atlantis in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and will instead be the king of Talocan. “The ruler of Talocan, an ancient civilization hidden in the depths of the ocean, Namor will stop at nothing to protect his people,” an official description reads.
The erasure of Atlantis from the MCU has no doubt been done to mitigate the comparison between Namor and Aquaman, with the depiction of Namor also leaning into Aztec iconography rather than the more medieval-meets-science fiction visuals of Aquaman.
Tenoch Huerta Will Play Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
After months and months of rumor and speculation, it has now been officially revealed that The Forever Purge and Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta will play Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The recent trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever offered our first look at the character’s live-action debut, with Namor expected to play a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
Huerta recently broke his silence over joining the world of Marvel, explaining what it was like to become an MCU superhero. “It’s amazing,” the actor began. “I mean, everyone pretends to be a superhero or to be part of movies or whatever, and then you are part of it. You are the superhero, and then you are wearing the costume. It’s your skin, your voice, your brain, your talent, your story. It’s overwhelming.”
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 11, 2022, and has now been revealed as the final installment in Phase 4 of the MCU.