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Namor emerged as a breakout new Marvel Cinematic Universe villain thanks to Tenoch Huerta's powerful performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But despite his success, the MCU's Sub-Mariner isn't going to be landing a movie of his own anytime soon.
Speaking to The Wrap about bringing the character to the big screen for the first time, longtime Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore explained that Namor is yet another MCU character with a shared custody. Longtime Marvel movie followers will know that, back in the days when Marvel Comics was licensing all of its characters to various studios, Namor and the Hulk ended up at Universal Pictures, which made bringing them to the screen for the MCU a complicated affair. The Incredible Hulk made it through because Universal distributed the film back in the pre-Disney days of Marvel Studios, and ever since then Bruce Banner has remained a supporting player in other Marvel stories. The same is true of Namor, who can appear in various MCU releases, so long as he's not the star, and he isn't featured as the lead on Marvel marketing materials.
“It honestly affects us more, and not to talk too much out of school, but in how we market the film than it does how we use him in the film,” Moore said. “There weren’t really things we couldn’t do from a character perspective for him, which is good because clearly, we took a ton of inspiration from the source material, but we also made some big changes to really anchor him in that world in a truth that publishing never really landed on, I would argue, in a big way.”
This, of course, is certainly not the first time Marvel Studios has run into a shared arrangement with another studio. The Hulk is a key example, but perhaps the most famous is the partnership between Sony Pictures and Marvel on the movie rights to Spider-Man. Tom Holland has now played Peter Parker in half a dozen films in the MCU, but the Spider-Man films have always been a shared affair with Sony, as that studio produces its own Spider-Man offshoots like Venom and Morbius. Now, something similar has happened with Namor, and so far the partnership is working just fine.
As for Namor's future, Moore confirmed that the character "can return" to the MCU, just not in a leading role. Maybe one day that will change, but for the moment it's clear that Namor, and Huerta, doesn't need to be the star to command our attention.
Looking for more blockbusters? Check out Jordan Peele's NOPE, Beast, Halloween Ends and more streaming now on Peacock.