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Namor Marvel movie was scripted 18 years ago, but timing wasn’t right

Kevin Feige confirms that plans for a Namor Marvel movie stretch back almost 20 years, but circumstances were only right in Black Panther 2

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Namor is one of the latest MCU characters to become part of the franchise, joining Black Panther 2 as a partial antagonist. The hero has been long-awaited for Marvel movie fans, and according to Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, plans for the aquatic mutant stretch back almost two decades.

Talking to Marvel Entertainment at the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere, Feige confirmed Namor’s been a goal for quite some time. “Namor, as the Marvel fans know, is one of, if not the, original, he and Human Torch were at the same time,” Feige starts. “So forever, he’s been on our lists. I remember 18 years ago, putting together. I think we even commissioned a script 18 years ago. And the timing was never right, and the idea was never right.”

Well, in MCU Phase 4, the time was right, and the idea was right, largely thanks to who’s in the director’s chair. “Ryan Coogler, on the first movie, started pitching a war between kingdoms,” Feige recalls. “And if you actually added a cultural specificity to Namor, and that’s certainly what he’s done in this movie. It’s not Atlantis, it’s Talokan, and I can’t wait for people to meet the Talokanil and Namor.”

As Feige states, Namor’s background has been rejigged slightly. He’s still part-mutant, but he comes from the kingdom of Talokon instead of Atlantis, though going by trailers for the action movie, they appear largely similar.

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Namor stretches right back to the roots of Marvel, appearing in Marvel Comics #1 in 1939 with Human Torch and costumed detective Angel. He was created by Bill Everett, and he’s been heavily recurring ever since, often showing up in Avengers and Fantastic Four storylines, sometimes as a member, sometimes as an antagonist.

Played by Tenoch Huerta, could Namor’s presence as a movie villain suggest the Fantastic Four MCU movie is coming together? Possibly, we’ll have to find out when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens on November 11, 2022. Have a look at our guide to Marvel’s Phase 5 for what else is in store.