Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's first trailer finally confirmed that Namor the Sub-Mariner is set to debut in the MCU. The character is portrayed by The Forever Purge actor Tenoch Huerta, and he is expected to serve as the main villain of the upcoming sequel.
Namor's involvement in Black Panther 2 also means that the long-rumored war between Wakanda and Atlantis will happen on the big screen, with the trailer showcasing scenes between two warring nations. In addition, after a series of leaked images revealing Namor's design, a closer look at the character's appearance indicates that the movie will incorporate the Mayan culture into the villain's origin.
Now, ahead of his debut, the new Marvel star has broken his silence about portraying the MCU's new character.
Welcome to the MCU, Tenoch Huerta
After the mega-sized panel from Marvel Studios at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Namor actor Tenoch Huerta spoke with several outlets to explain his upcoming MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Speaking with Deadline, Huerta said that he hopes "people can fall in love with the character" before being cut off by Lupita Nyong'o and Letitia Wright from almost revealing a spoiler:
Huerta: “I hope the people can fall in love with the character, but under circumstances why he is acting this way, which is wonderful… Spoiler? No, no, it’s not a spoiler."
Lupita N’yongo: "No. Stop there. Stop there!"
Letitia Wright: "He’s [really] interesting."
Huerta then continued by sharing that Namor is "fantastic" and that it's a "wonderful experience" to be part of the MCU sequel:
"He’s fantastic. I love it. Thank you. No, seriously. It’s a wonderful experience to be here and to be part of this family. They made me feel really welcome and it’s an inspiration. Me and I hope for the rest of the people. You can dream about something that you can see and now people can see all of us. I feel [inspired]."
In an interview with Variety, he shared his thoughts on being introduced to a big crowd at Hall H, saying that the moment was "great" while also admitting that it is an inspiring feeling to see people like him become heroes "even though my heritage is different:"
"It’s a big moment and it’s a perfect place to be introduced. This character, this world, this moment at Comic-Con, with all of those fans… it’s great. You can feel and notice how important [this character] is for the people. This character, the superhero, is part of their lives [and] is inspiring. So now, the Black Panther, the first one for me, was [inspiring]. It was a pure inspiration because finally, I could see people like me, even though my heritage is different. People like me being heroes with superpowers. They are the new Greek gods. Now, they call me, they said ‘this is your turn.’ It’s a fantastic experience. I want to be part of the inspiration for other kids, for other people. If they can feel… I mean, it’s possible. It’s not easy, not easy at all, but it’s possible.”
While speaking with Access, Huerta revealed that his improvisation and his scenes with Letitia Wright's Shuri are his favorite parts about bringing Namor to life in the MCU sequel. The Marvel newcomer also described Wakanda Forever as "great and deep and beautiful:"
“My favorite part… Oh my God, I have some scenes… beautiful scenes with [Letitia]. Especially with her. And I remember we were improvising something and something comes from our hearts. There was a connection. It was like, ’Yeah, we’re talking about the same thing and we are healing, historically I mean, the same wound. And that’s that’s why we made art. We make art because art heals the wounds and it works for everything is… it’s like a band-aid for your heart. And this movie… is that, you know, for all the people involved and I think for the people in front of the screen, in the movies or their houses. It’s gonna be great and deep and beautiful.”
How Namor Fits in the Black Panther 2 Puzzle
Tenoch Huerta is clearly excited about his upcoming MCU debut as Namor. The Marvel newcomer's hope that people will end up liking Namor suggests that the character is not a full-fledged villain in the movie. Instead, Namor could end up becoming an anti-hero, thus allowing the character to develop in his future appearances.
Huerta's comments about working with Letitia Wright's Shuri could also hint that a battle between the two leaders will happen, suggesting that T'Challa's sister would end up taking the Black Panther mantle in the movie.
While Namor's motivations for attacking Wakanda in the film are unknown, it's possible that the Atlantean King is being manipulated by another villain.
In Marvel Comics, Namor has been portrayed as a villain, but in recent years, the character leans toward becoming an anti-hero who is simply trying to protect his people and his kingdom. On top of that, Namor is also a member of the Illuminati alongside Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, and Charles Xavier.
Considering the prominent role of Namor in the comics, it's likely that the character could end up becoming a major hero that will fight alongside the MCU's Earth's Mightiest Heroes when the time comes. Given Namor's powers and resources, the character could prove to be a valuable ally, similar to how Wakanda became a force to be reckoned with during Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, November 11.