Now that the public has finally gotten their first glimpse of Namor aka the Submarine in Marvel Studio Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverpeople might still be wondering why Namor doesn’t get his own MCU movie.
According to a report on The Wrap, “The situation around Namor dates back to the pre-Marvel Studios/pre-Disney era of making movies out of Marvel Comics characters, before the studio streamlined and controlled intellectual property. Before Marvel Studios Was Created Iron Man as its own independently produced film, the company used to license or sell the rights to the characters to other studios – the x-men went to Fox, Spider Man went to Sony, etc. And Namor is one of those characters who is still controlled by another studio.
The studio in question is Universal Pictures. As it stands, Universal owns the rights to both the Hulk and Namor, and unfortunately neither IP can appear in their own movie.
However, that doesn’t mean Marvel can’t borrow Namor, like they borrowed the Hulk, to put him in an ensemble film. In the same report from The Wrap, the outlet spoke with Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore, who explained the situation and cited source material as inspiration.
“Honestly, it affects us more, and not too much outside of school, but in how we market the film than how we use it in the film,” Moore said. “There wasn’t really a lot that we couldn’t do character-wise for him, which is good because we clearly took inspiration from the source material, but we also made some big changes to really grounding it in this world, in a truth that the edit never really landed on, I would say, in a big way.
How is Namor from the MCU different from the comics?
Unlike his comic book counterpart, the MCU’s Namor is the ruler of Talocan, not Atlantis. The change gives Namor a story tied to Mayan culture, with Tenoch Huerta in the role. While Ryan Coogler has taken the character in a new direction, Namor is still donning his classic green trunks and pointy ears.
Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassette.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out in theaters now.