Is MCU's Namor a Mutant? Marvel Star Weighs In On X-Men Debate

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Namor mutant Marvel X-Men

The mutant revolution within the MCU is in its earliest stages, although it's moving in a couple of different unique directions. Patrick Stewart's Professor X made a short but sweet comeback before Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan became the MCU's first new mutant, changing from her Inhuman background, and another mutant may be on the way with Tenoch Huerta's Namor the Sub-Mariner

The powerful underwater ruler will make his MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with Marvel Studios now able to bring him into the franchise after a long rights issue with Universal. While his background is being changed to something more Aztec than Atlantean to avoid some Aquaman comparisons, fans are wondering if his mutant origins will change as well.

In the comics, Namor is actually known as one of the first mutants in Marvel's history, having been introduced over 80 years ago. Now, as the conversation about the MCU's newest potential X-Man continues, the actress behind the franchise's most recently-revealed X-Man has shared her thoughts about Namor's place in the universe.

Ms. Marvel Star on Namor Mutant Question

Ms. Marvel and Mutants X-Men

Speaking with New Rockstars' Erik Voss, Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani joined the discussion about mutants officially coming into the MCU.

Voss asked where Vellani wants to see more mutants as a fan, to which she admitted that she didn't even know if fans would see her own mutant moment in Ms. Marvel. When she found out about it, she started "freaking out" about the idea of being a mutant in the MCU, keeping her fingers crossed that it would make the final cut of the show.

She also mentioned Tenoch Huerta's Namor the Sub-Mariner from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever when talking about Marvel's plans for the mutants, teasing how these characters will come together in future projects:

Voss: “In the finale episode, you were established as the first mutant that’s identified in the MCU and I assume you saw the Comic-Con announcements this past weekend: no mutants so far announced on the schedule, but we assume they’re coming. I assume you can’t talk too much really at all about where we might see mutants next, but I just want to ask you as a fan of all this, where do you want to see mutants show up next?”

Vellani: “Ooh. God, I don’t even know. We didn’t even know that scene was even going to make the cut. We shot it not knowing if it was going to happen. Like, I got sent that script before reshoots for our show started and I was freaking out, emailing everyone, texting everyone in all caps. I was like, ‘This is happening? Please tell me I’m a mutant.’ And we shot it. We were still crossing our fingers, hoping it was going to make the cut and it did. And it was literally all up to Kevin [Feige]… Literally how this happened was, Sana [Amanat], our producer, was in one of the writer room meetings and she’s like, ‘… We can’t figure this out like what if we just made her a mutant or something?’ Kevin was like, ‘Okay.’ And, that’s it. So, I don’t know what their plans are. I would love to see just more mutants pop up… You know, Namor’s coming. Just a lot of people established as mutants and then eventually we get some sort of X-Men team up together. That’d be awesome.”

The two both enjoy the idea of people in the MCU having a "genetic predisposition" to being mutants, which Vellani called "an honor" after working on it with executive producer Sana Amanat. It was so exciting that it was hard to get a good take while shooting, with Vellani breaking almost every time they filmed it: 

Voss: “…I like this approach of establishing characters like you, who are just… who have that genetic predisposition I think that’s like a more organic way to go–”

Vellani: “I agree.”

Voss: “–And I’m glad that you get to be part of it.”

Vellani: “I know. What an honor. I mean like especially working with Sana and knowing they wanted to make her a mutant in the first place, and it was a weird time in comics so it didn’t happen. But it’s so exciting and… I couldn’t get any takes where I wasn’t giggling, except the one that we saw on Disney+. Literally every single time Matt said the word I had to break. It was just like too good to be true. Yeah”

Voss also complimented Vellani on her performance, joking about all of the outtakes before Vellani  expressed her excitement about seeing those extra takes someday:

Voss: ” Iman, I loved the way you delivered it too. Like you did this thing that sometimes if you watch like outtakes from Saturday Night Live, some actors, to keep from breaking, will go: (exhales inside mouth).”

Vellani: “That’s literally– Yep. That’s the closest we could get to not breaking.”

Voss: “It was so wonderful.”

Vellani: “I’m so excited to see them cut it all together. Like all my terrible outtakes of me just laughing. Oh, it was terrible and Matt did such a good job and just saying the word and I couldn’t say the word in real life for the longest time until recently. I kept calling it the ‘M’ word it’s just– Gave me chills.”

Vellani Ready to See Namor's Mutant Story

Almost no MCU star knows as much about Marvel's history as Iman Vellani, as proven by the numerous interviews she's done as Phase 4 continues to evolve. From lamenting Black Bolt's death in Doctor Strange 2 to questioning which universe the MCU exists in, the Ms. Marvel star is always ready to share her opinions on what's happening within the MCU.

Being the franchise's first official new mutant, it only makes sense that she wants to see Namor as part of the group when he makes his arrival later this year.

With Namor being one of the MCU's oldest characters, including his mutant background would be quite fitting to fully explore his place in the MCU, especially now that mutants and Namor are both available to be used. This will also only help to ease the transition into Marvel's more classic mutants like Wolverine as the idea is more fully established in prior Marvel stories.

Ms. Marvel is currently streaming in its entirety on Disney+. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will arrive in theaters on November 11.

- In This Article: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release Date
November 11, 2022
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.