This isn't the first time the big boss at Marvel Studios has commented on Tenoch Huerta's place in the MCU. When asked directly by a fan if the newly introduced character might ever get a solo outing, Feige blankly told them, "we'll see" after the character made his long-awaited debut in Black Panther 2.
Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore has also previously teased the future of Huerta and the Talokanil, noting that whoever encounters the group next might "be in some trouble."
Now, more vague hints of what fans can expect going forward have hit the web.
The Future of Namor's Mutant
In an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Official Black Panther Podcast, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore talked about bringing Namor to life on screen and what his future may hold.
Asking point blank, Coates inquired about where the two see Tenoch Huerta’s Namor going in the future of the MCU as a bonefied Mutant.
Feige specifically pointed at the previous “80 years of stories with Namor that [Marvel Studios] can tap into,” but noted that for now, “[they’ll] keep [Namor’s future] to [themselves]:”
“You know, people who read the comics know there are 80 years of stories with Namor that we can tap into. So where and when, we’ll keep to ourselves for now, but we think that this is an incredibly iconic character that’s been introduced, probably to most people, most moviegoers, for the first time. And we very much expect them to want to see more.”
So was the mutant namedrop from Namor completely intentional? Feige was quick to confirm that, “yes,” it was purposeful.
Moore added that calling Namor a Mutant “is accurate as well,” something Feige reinforced.
When asked by Coates about the cultural changes to Namor and his people in Wakanda Forever, Feige shared how he thought the new lore “was brilliant:”
“I thought it was brilliant and the reason to do it. You know, there are a number of underwater heroes nowadays who have done a very spectacular job of presenting underwater kingdoms. So, yes, the reason to do it was Namor is a classic OG Marvel character and somebody that Ryan used to talk about during the production of the first Black Panther.”
Moore revealed that a big reason behind the changes to Namor’s origin and changing Atlantis to Talokan was to help Ryan Coogler understand and create the story of the sequel:
“Yeah, you know, Panther and Namor have a very complicated history in publishing that Ryan [Coogler] was a fan of, that I was a fan of, that Kevin’s a fan of. And the way that Ryan approaches filmmaking, I would argue, is always finding the organic reason for that to be true. And part of that was then, okay, figuring out the reason why, what was called Atlantis, what would be called Talokan would exist, and you start to back into a mythology that makes sense for the character in a way, that was sort of not ever really defined and therefore lacked a specificity of storytelling that Ryan kinda requires to understand how to write to.”
Moore continued, exclaiming how he thinks those changes “gave the character and the society an anchor point” that gave Coogler exactly what he needed to craft Wakanda Forever:
“And so, by landing in this Meso-American society, and specifically the Yucatec/Mayan society of past and present, I think it gave the character and the society an anchor point that allowed Ryan to build A. a mythology, and B. a narrative that put it on a collision course with Wakanda, both because of the similarities of the two civilizations and the very stark differences in their experiences historically.”
When Exactly Will Namor Appear Next?
Given how Wakanda Forever resolved with Namor and Shuri forming an alliance pact, there's no doubt about it - Namor and his Talokanil people will return. It's just a matter of when not if.
After all, there are still plenty of Vibranium-hungry people out there—such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Val. Could she end up being the next person to come face-to-face with the underwater mutant?
But what about a specific project focused just on Talokan? Sadly, that might not be possible. Rights issues with Universal might prohibit Marvel Studios from having any solo stories about Namor—however, all the details of those restrictions aren't fully known by the public. One would have to hope they'd expire at some point.
For those who want to watch Huerta's Namor once again, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits Disney+ on Wednesday, February 1.