One of Marvel’s very first superhumans will finally make the jump to live-action next week when Tenoch Huerta’s Namor, the Sub-Mariner debuts in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Namor’s MCU introduction has been long overdue. But it’s clear from what we’ve seen so far that the filmmakers (and especially Huerta himself) have poured a lot of heart and soul into his first big-screen outing. Now, Marvel has released a new featurette teasing what the Sub-Mariner’s arrival means for the people of Wakanda.
In the video, director and co-writer Ryan Coogler explains why Namor seemed like a natural fit for the sequel. Like Wakanda’s Black Panther, Namor is also a sovereign ruler who leads his own kingdom that is largely cut off from the rest of the world. Namor’s long history in Marvel’s comic book universe is reflected onscreen as well when M’Baku reveals that his people worship him as a god. You can check out what else the cast and crew had to say in the player below.
RELATED: Ryan Coogler Originally Asked to Reserve Namor for Black Panther Sequel
Instead of Atlantis, Wakanda Forever re-imagines Namor as the ruler of Talocan, based on the paradise from Aztec mythology. Some of the Talocans’ cultural practices are on display in the featurette, many of which don’t seem particularly different from those of the Wakandans. But as Letitia Wright notes, both countries are willing to go to different lengths to protect their people.
Huerta adds that Namor’s genuine love for his subjects is what drives him to go to war with Wakanda in the first place. And given his own Mexican ancestry, this made it easier for Huerta to lose himself in the character during filming. It also gave him the opportunity to represent Latino audiences in an empowering way.
“Talocan has a deep meaning for me,” said Huerta. “It’s part of my personal heritage as a Mexican, as an inhabitant of Mesoamerica. Finally, I could find a more powerful representation of my culture with dignity and respect.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on November 11.
Are you excited to see Tenoch Huerta’s Namor in action next week? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Black Panther By Ta-Nehisi Coates Omnibus