Imagine actor Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever covered in Indigenous-inspired tattoos or carrying an obsidian-edged club in his hand to fight off his enemies. How about Talokan warriors like Attuma (Alex Livinalli) wearing armor made from the bones of sharks?
Those are only a couple of ideas that designers considered when creating concept art for the blockbuster Marvel sequel. Two of those artists, Phil Saunders and Adi Granov, have recently shared some of the art they developed during pre-production on their social media pages.
“I wanted to suggest technological and aesthetic advancement and sourcing of underwater materials while keeping a clear connection to the culture and design of the Maya in the 500 years since they migrated underwater,” wrote Saunders on Instagram.
Saunders also thought it would be interesting for the look of the Talocan warriors to “incorporate the liquid breathing apparatus for surface missions into their piercings and facial jewelry.” For their gloves and inner knee pads to “be made of cultured octopus suckers to aid in holding on to the killer whales they ride.”
From the look of one of Granov’s art concepts, he wanted to take the style of the Aztec warriors from the 2006 film Apocalypto and give them their own Marvel flash.
“Another of my [Talokan] concepts for Wakanda Forever,” he wrote on Instagram. “Not much to say about this one, just kind of [a] moody, tattooed warrior.”
In another piece, Granov plays around with the design of a character like Namora (Mabel Cadena). He says he drew inspiration from a trip to Mexico and “tried to do a kind of alternate reality version of ancient designs as if they developed by branching out hundreds of years ago.”
While the final Wakanda Forever film used none of these concepts, these are still works of art by Saunders and Granov. Maybe they can incorporate some of their ideas in the next Marvel movie – if and when Namor and his Talokan warriors make another appearance.