‘Wakanda Forever’: Ryan Coogler Talks Long Journey To Namor’s MCU Debut

When Namor finally makes his MCU debut next week in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, played brilliantly by Tenoch Huerta, it will be the culmination of years of attempts to use the character. But rights issues (probably with Universal, who had the rights for a time) and other factors kept that from happening. Speaking to Ta-Nahesi Coates on the first episode of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever podcast, director Ryan Coogler talked about the long journey he has been on to finally use the character…

“I knew I wanted to make another one. When I was doing my deep dive in all the [‘Black Panther’] stories, there were like a few characters [T’Challa] would interact with that I thought, ‘Man, this would be awesome. I knew it would be Killmonger for the first one, but Namor was all over these books and always really interesting. So we would talk about ‘Could we ever do Namor?’ and they had contractual things going on with him as a character at that time. But it was something if we ran it back, it would be about him and Namor and introduce Marvel’s Atlantis to the fold.” “

Coogler continued, “This was before ‘Aquaman’ came out, this was before a lot of things, but we’d talk about it from time to time. So, I was excited to come back knowing what it was and that excited me quite a bit.”

The arrival of Namor is a huge deal. Considered the world’s first mutant (he wasn’t, that would be Apocalypse), Namor has connections all of the Marvel Universe, from Doctor Strange and the Defenders to Captain American and The Invaders. And besides his on again/off again friendship with Black Panther and the people of Wakanda, Namor also has close ties to the Fantastic Four through his obsession with Sue Storm and rivalry with Reed Richards.

So get ready. Namor makes a splash in the MCU when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens on November 11th.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.