Two years ago, it was reported that Narcos: Mexico star Tenoch Huerta would play an undisclosed villain in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It was quickly speculated that Huerta would be playing T'Challa's most bitter enemy, Namor the Sub-Mariner. A year later, The Illuminerdi revealed that Huerta would indeed be playing the Scourge of the Seven Seas, but with a twist.
To match the casting of Huerta, the entire culture of Atlantis from the comics would instead be based around Mayan culture instead of Ancient Greece, as is typical for the mythical underwater city. In the same report, two "Mayan warriors" were being cast, later revealed to be given the codenames "Zyanya" and "Cadmael."
In another report from Murphy's Multiverse, the role of "Zyanya" was revealed to be Namora, the cousin of Namor, played by Mexican actress Mabel Cadena.
Considering all those reports concerning Namor's long-awaited MCU introduction, one of the biggest mysteries revolves around what he'll look like when he hits the big screen in November. Recently, a leaked image of Namor himself has leaked, showing how his new Mayan-inspired roots have influenced his design.
Namor the (Blurry) Sub-Mariner
A blurred-out promotional image from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has supposedly leaked (via The Den of Nerds), which teases the MCU design for Namor the Sub-Mariner. In case this image is legitimate, we can't share the image here for copyright reasons, but a fan-made visual representation of Namor's design, as shared by insider MyTimeToShineHello, can be seen below:
Despite the image being blurred, it's clear that the design is based upon Namor's appearance in the 1960s, in which he only wore green swimwear briefs, a golden belt, wrist bands, and wings on his ankles.
Huerta's Namor wears similar green swimwear (more swim trunks than speedo) adorned with a golden belt with what appears to be a similar Sun insignia as Namor's original design. Additionally, the Sub-Mariner has golden wrist bands and armbands, which help Namor's design feel a little less barren.
Finally, the two most significant additions to the design are a green collar, likely influenced by Mayan clothing, and soleless armored boots with wings. Due to the blurriness of the image, it's impossible to tell whether they're growing out of his ankles like in the comics or if the boots facilitate the wings, but it helps invoke imagery of the Greek god Hermes.
Retooling Atlantis for the MCU
If this promotional art leak is legitimate, it seems to confirm that the culture of Atlantis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be based on Mayan civilization, which makes sense in matching Huerta's casting. It will also help differentiate the character from DC's Aquaman, as comparisons will undoubtedly be drawn between the two kings of the sea when the Black Panther sequel is released.
It will also be interesting to see where Namor's kingdom is located, as the new Mayan origin would imply that it'd reside further West in the Atlantic Ocean than in the middle of it like the comics. It could be how and why Riri Williams' "invention" will lead Wakanda "into conflict with a hidden civilization led by Namor."
Fans will find out more about Namor and his place in the MCU when they see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters on November 11.