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Ryan Coogler wanted Namor in first Black Panther

Namor is joining the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but director Ryan Coogler would've introduced the mutant earlier if he had his way

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther 2

Namor is officially becoming an MCU character in Black Panther 2, something that’s been lightly teased and hinted at before. Ryan Coogler, director of both Black Panther Marvel movies, wanted to introduce the hero earlier, but it didn’t happen.

“Ryan had a pitch for a tag at the end of Black Panther,” Kevin Feige told Empire. “The camera would push through the palace in Wakanda, and then we’d see wet footprints leading up to the throne.” No reason is given for why we didn’t get Namor’s introduction earlier. Likely it was something to do with timing and the story being told.

Black Panther came out in the run-up to the fight with Thanos, and we weren’t getting the Atlantean mutant until after that was over. That’s quite a while to leave the audience waiting. What’s more, it would’ve distracted from the poignant post-credits scene already attached to Black Panther, where T’Challa speaks about building bridges as he reveals Wakanda to the outside world. No doubt Feige has his own, more business-centric explanation too.

Still, it would’ve been cool, and given us a little something more to discuss about the action movie. Curiously, Namor isn’t from Atlantis here, but Talocan, another underwater region. It’s actually how Black Panther ends that brings him to Wakanda.

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“That decision puts Talocan in jeopardy, and Talocan has to take action to protect themselves,”  Tenoch Huerta, who’s playing Namor, says. Huerta confirms that Namor is a mutant, making that two heroes with explicit mutations in the franchise, and Marvel is drawing from Mesoamerican myth for the character’s live-action debut.

We’ll have to see how that all comes together when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theatres on November 11. Have a look at our guide to all the Marvel series for more marvelous adventures.