While Namor the Sub-Mariner became the primary antagonist in Black Panther 2, his interactions with the movie's leading heroes helped to drive the plot forward from start to finish. Fans learned about his MCU background as a mutant upon his introduction to the Marvel narrative, although his relationship with Letitia Wright's Shuri was one subplot that got plenty of attention.
Upon taking her to Talokan, Shuri and Namor began discussing their points of view regarding their respective countries' place in the world, showing them more similarities between the two of them than either expected. On top of that, some fans even saw just a hint of romance potentially building between the two of them, even as they went toe-to-toe with one another in the final battle for the surface world's existence.
Now, following the movie's release, Huerta has shared his own thoughts on what could be happening between the primary protagonist and antagonist in Black Panther 2.
Namor Star on Romance With Shuri in Black Panther 2
Speaking with Rolling Stone Magazine, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta discussed the romantic chemistry between his Namor the Sub-Mariner and Letitia Wright's Shuri.
Huerta didn't see the bond as romantic, but he described it as "more a human, intimate touch" as they bonded over the "history of their kingdoms" and their people. Because of the threats they both face, they were able to find a kind of common ground with both of them under attack for their possession of Vibranium:
"I don’t feel it was a romantic touch [between them]. I think it was more a human, intimate touch. I mean in the history of their kingdoms, the history of their people, they share the same root, and the threat comes from the same place for both of them, for the same reason. They both face threats from Western countries like the United States and France in the story, because of vibranium, natural resources. I think they connect in that aspect."
While the romantic part of their relationship may or may not happen, Huerta described it as "this ambiguous relationship" that forms in a very human way with Shuri and Namor. Huerta even said he doesn't enjoy the romantic side of the relationship as much, calling what he has with Shuri "magical:"
"I mean, when you meet someone and you have a good relationship, whether this person is the gender that you prefer or not, you always have this ambiguous relationship. It’s normal. It’s human. So, I think this happened with both of them. If that can evolve into a romantic relationship or not? I don’t know. It wasn’t our intention. It could happen or not.
The beautiful part of this relationship is, it doesn’t need to be romantic to be deep. It doesn’t need to be romantic to be beautiful and bright and intimate. And this connection between a man and a woman in different levels doesn’t need, necessarily, to end in a romantic relationship. And that’s beautiful, you know? Because I hate the romantic love. I think it’s poison. [Laughs] These characters, they create something… I don’t know. It was magical, but not necessarily romantic."
Huerta also looked back to the scene where Namor kills Ramonda, reminiscing on being up in the air "for a long time" and not remembering how many times the scene has to be shot. And with Namor being 500 years old upon his entry into the MCU, Ramonda's death is "just a blink" in time for him:
"I was in the wire [suspended in the air] for a long time, multiple times, and so I don’t remember exactly how many times we did it. Remember, he had been trying to create this alliance with Shuri before she became a queen. And Namor is thinking about the future — not because he was planning to kill the queen. But he’s 500 years old. So for him, it’s just a blink. The time goes. In the future, she will be a queen."
In the end, he never actually planned to kill the Wakandan Queen, but he felt the need to get revenge against Shuri and Riri Williams for the deaths of two of his own people:
"So to kill Queen Ramonda [Angela Bassett] was never his plan, it was a reaction because they killed a couple of girls of Namor’s kingdom, and it was just a punishment. It’s like: You kill people, I kill your people. But, yeah, I swear to God, first he tried to make an alliance the best way he possibly could! Then things happened."
Will Namor and Shuri Become an MCU Power Couple?
Marvel Studios has brought more than a few iconic couples into the MCU through Phase 4, most recently with She-Hulk and Daredevil alongside one another on Disney+ in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Now, the question turns to whether the same thing will happen with Namor and Shuri as their journeys continue to evolve with the MCU's Multiverse Saga still expanding.
With what Tenoch Huerta said about the relationship, it doesn't appear that Shuri and Namor will be too worried about whether they end up romantically involved with each other anytime soon. But with the eyes of the MCU fandom all over them, there's no way to definitively count that out from happening at some point.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently playing in theaters.