If you loved what actor Tenoch Huerta did with his character Namor in the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and were hoping Marvel might give him his own standalone film, don’t hold your breath.
According to The Wrap, Marvel doesn’t own the rights to the character, which means he can’t – at least right now – headline a Namor-centered movie. Currently, Universal Pictures owns Namor. They also own Hulk, which is why Marvel hasn’t released a standalone Hulk movie in 14 years. It’s true, Mark Ruffalo’s version of Bruce Banner has never had top billing in a film.
Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore confirmed with The Wrap that Namor “can return” and appear in another Marvel movie, but it would have to be as part of an ensemble cast. Apparently, Namor can’t even appear in his own movie poster, unless it’s part of a series of marketing materials. Moore used the word “borrowed” to describe Marvel’s current accessibility to Namor.
“It honestly affects us more … in how we market the film than it does how we use him in the film,” Moore said. “There weren’t really things we couldn’t do from a character perspective for him, which is good because clearly, we took a ton of inspiration from the source material, but we also made some big changes to really anchor him in that world in a truth that publishing never really landed on, I would argue, in a big way.”
Moore also discussed Wakanda Forever director and co-writer Ryan Coogler’s unique adaptation of Namor, transforming him into an anti-hero with Mesoamerican roots, a decision that wasn’t hindered by any legal issues with the character.
“Ryan is such a detail-oriented filmmaker that he wanted to anchor into something that felt as tangible and real as hopefully Wakanda fuels for people,” he said. “I think there was nothing from a business side anyway that was preventing us from doing that, which is great.”