How Namor Was Reinvented for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finally introducing the iconic Submariner from Marvel Comics, Namor played by actor Tenoch Huerta, IGN sat down with the actor as well as the director, producer, and co-stars of Black Panther 2 to hear how they went about bringing the mutant anti-hero to the big screen for the first time. Hear about how, much like Wakanda in the first Black Panther film, we are introduced to a new hidden nation and culture, Namor’s people the Talokan, as well as the defining characteristics that they wanted to translate from the comics.

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My enemies call me no more This movie marks the debut of Namor Which is a character people have been Very yeah yeah very well very well Realized here what were some of the most Important aspects of that character that You wanted to bring to the screen and How did you work with tenoch to do that Yeah I think for anyone we looked at it We looked at him in like three ways you Know Um one is like what defines name were You know in the comic book you know in The comic books a visual medium you know What I mean so so it's like green shorts Leaned ankles black hair you know these Things that are consistent bomb doesn't Wear a lot of clothes and then it's like His personality in the comic books and Um he's a guy who's very long lives he's He's a guy who's kind of like a child of Two different worlds doesn't perfectly Fit into either one it has a chip on his Shoulder he's also a guy who who's very Very powerful and arrogant you know um Very strong as a whole Kingdom behind Him Um and and uh has a particular point of View towards others you know I'm almost Xenophobic if you if you excited you Know these things consistent about how Many kind of books he's um not being Very sexy you know uh you know Oftentimes like romance Romancing other

People's wives you know in in the comics Um and uh uh it's kind of an Like like you know if you're not from Atlantis and show all these things you Know we wanted to because this guy's Been around like he's maybe arguing like The artist Marvel uh character you know So so he hasn't had any kind of live Action representation you know not on Television on the movies so we want to Take that stuff serious but at the same Time it all had to be in service of Making a Black Panther movie so so that That's when the cultural specificity and Respect for the themes you know um our Our film was kind of all agent Conversation with the history of Colonization you know Um and and uh how it escaped how what Kind of Escape that you know and and so Um we thought it would be interesting to To carry that conversation on but do it On another location on the planet you Know and think about what what culture Would be interested in the juxtapos with With wakanda start to become clear that That maybe we'll look at you know some Asro-american cultures Only the most broken people can be great Leaders Ryan told me go to the human being Behind the the superhero you know the The normal the common man because he has These superpowers but at the end he has

The motivation of every person in the World you know he has to protect his Family he has to protect his people he Had to protect his kingdom and the way Of his way of life and I think the that Is common for everybody all around the World that's it and and I think that's Why the people connect With the character there is a new world Power at play Are you an ally There's so much that connects wakanda And telecon uh you know how important Their people are how important the sort Of rulers are to the people but what do You find to be the major difference Between those two cultures that sort of Drives the conflict here uh wakanda is a It's a country who Is hiding from the world but they never Have to leave and actually he say that In the movie you know because talokan is A city they they they made this city Because they were running away from from The peninsula so in a way they were Conquered or almost conquered and that Forced them to go into the ocean and That never happened with wakanda so I Think that I mean it's the same threat Is the same wood but at different Circumstances but yeah at the same time They are hiding people both of them have Their own technology their own culture They develop in different circumstances

Under different circumstances at the end They are aware of the surface and the Threat of the surface he's coming For the surface world There is a nation that holds a lot of Similar things without giving anything Away there is a nation that you know What kind wakanda's mind You know the especially for the royal Family it's like there's no one like us That's why we're always constantly being Um at the Forefront of a threat we're Always being attacked upon right but When you find another Nation that's Shares a lot of similarities especially With the King that wants to protect his Nation and what he's protecting and the Fact that the outside world wants to Come in to both of these nations and Invade that's that's a bit unsettling For us because it's not just us we have To look out for it's it's bigger so There's a lot to unpack [Music] Was there any concern on Marvel's part With bringing Neymar to the MCU after Audiences had already met Aquaman over In the DC Universe their you know There's similarities between those Characters uh was there anything Marvel Went out of their way to change to avoid Too much oh that's interesting Um not really I mean we're certainly Aware of Aquaman uh what a big fun movie

That was actually one thing I know we we Didn't do specifically was the Trident Because that is so iconic to some degree To Aquaman but also is is in publishing Neymar hasn't tried a ton of the time But really it was less about trying to Avoid Aquaman comparisons and more about Just trying to be more specific about Neymar as a character you know I I think I've read every name or comic ever Published and the backstory of Atlantis Is a little vague like it's sort of like It's it's doesn't feel culturally Specific in any way and one of the Things I think Ryan as a filmmaker likes To do is really dive deep and and in the Same way that he made wakanda feel real Because of all specific cultural African Influences he needed what was Atlantis What is now talaconda feel real by Having an underpinning of something that That felt true and real and in our world And so he's also very much interested in Themes of colonization as as the first Film also had on its mind and I think Finding an indigenous culture who who Sort of faced something as traumatic as As what the Spanish did to the Mayans Back in the day that still resonates With Mayan culture today it helped us to Make Namor and Telecom feel more present And more part of the Black Panther Universe than if we kind of just did a Direct one-to-one representation of how

Atlantis has portrayed Foreign This movie really celebrates Latino Heritage and culture in a way that we Haven't really seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet how did it feel For you guys to be part of that sort of Tip of the spear so to speak you know to Be that first sort of wave of like Representation in the MCU it had to be This one you know just because what the First one did this this film is so Personal for so many people bringing us Here and and representing this this Mesoamerican uh community that that is Talukang is such a is such an important Thing you know I think a lot of kids are Going to be able to see themselves you Know looking at us being like oh well You know that kind of looks like us you Know they have a accents like us so it's It's very inspiring and An honor to be here and actually the Latin Community is really years ago for These opportunities you know we we are Ready for for more stories about The world about diversity about Risks Who are you My enemies call me no more

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