With Namor the Sub-Mariner finally making his debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Kevin Feige explains why it took so long
Kevin Feige explains why it took Namor so long to hit the big screen and how Ryan Coogler prepared him for it. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Before Feige was a major player at Marvel Studios, Avi Arad ran the company and helped solidify many Marvel characters as household names for a new generation. Since Arad did not believe that a common cinematic world could work at the time, the film rights to several characters were sold to different studios who all had their own ideas of how to adapt the characters. One of the Marvel characters that would be stuck in developmental limbo for years was Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
One of the Namor films has been in development since 1997 with Universal Pictures behind the production. The intent was to tell an environmental story about Namur’s attempt to save Atlantis from pollution and underwater nuclear testing. Filmmakers like Philip Kaufman, Chris Columbus, and Jonathan Mostow have all been associated with the direct at some point, but none of them survive. Project Namor has collapsed, and ownership of the film rights has been stuck in limbo with neither Universal nor Marvel Studios really controlling who can adapt the story of the Underwater Prince. It will take another two years before announcing Namur’s appearance on Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverplayed by Tenoch Huerta.
At the premiere of the movie Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverKevin Feige spoke to reporters from Marvel Entertainment About Namur’s long journey to the big screen. Although he certainly had a hand in the final decision, he also gave credit to director Ryan Coogler for his decision to feature the character in Black Panther sequel and give him a stronger ethnic identity. Feige said:
Namur as Marvel fans know, is one, if not the original…and so, forever, it’s been on our lists. I remember 18 years ago putting it together, I think we commissioned a script 18 years ago, the timing was never right and the idea was never right. Ryan Coogler in the first movie begins a war between kingdoms. And if you really add cultural specificity to Namor, and that’s definitely what he did in this movie, it’s not Atlantis, it’s Talocan, and I can’t wait for people to meet Talocaneal and Namor.
Why was Namur worth the wait
As one of Marvel’s oldest characters, it seemed less of a question of whether Namur would join the MCU. Long-term speculation is rampant when it is introduced to the franchise, with many jumping on a simple line of Avengers: Endgame As proof of his presence in the world. However, pending its introduction so far, Marvel has been building up excitement for Namor’s debut, making his arrival Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Really exciting event. Early reactions to the film indicate that Namor is one of the highlights Wakanda forever, and appears to be due in part to the cultural specificity that Kolger sought to personalize. If it takes that long for Marvel to find a story and filmmaker who can do justice to Namor, the wait will probably be worth it.