Black Panther 2’s Namor Feels More Real Than Aquaman, Says MCU Star

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actor says that the MCU’s Namor feels more real than DC’s Aquaman. Namor: The Sub-Mariner is the half-human/half-Atlantean character created by Bill Everett in Marvel Comics #1, which debuted in 1939. The character has appeared throughout Marvel Comics ever since, but has yet to make a live-action appearance in any project, despite multiple attempts before the MCU arrived.

Actor Tenoch Huerta was cast as Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, marking a major casting move for the studio in what will be the character’s first live-action appearance. The mythological underwater city of Atlantis is portrayed in both Marvel and DC comics, with the former being led by Arthur Curry/Aquaman, portrayed by actor Jason Momoa in the DCEU. Directed by James Wan, Aquaman was a massive success and showed Atlantis as a sprawling kingdom of many different species in a vast, imaginative world under the sea. Now, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will portray Atlantis in its own light, which will be quite different from Aquaman’s interpretation.


Talking to the LA Times, actor Winston Duke comments on the MCU’s version of Namor and how it compares to DC’s Aquaman, saying that the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever version feels “a lot more real than fiction.” Duke says the cultural aspects of Namor in the MCU are what keep him from being just “another Aquaman,” especially the “Latinx contingent,” which will bring forth a certain level of representation to the franchise. Read Duke’s full comment below:

In our version, it feels a lot more real than fiction. In the MCU fashion, we’ve grounded it in real cultural significance and cultural traditions. You see the Latinx contingent that is present visually. Ryan Coogler’s creation within the Marvel cinematic landscape is one of deep honor and connection to real stuff. So I think a lot of people are gonna see themselves represented.

In the comics, the kingdoms of Wakanda and Atlantis are frequently at war, which will play a massive role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s story. Namor has often been portrayed as an aggressive, tyrannical ruler, which is already a very different character than Aquaman‘s Arthur Curry. The DCEU hero is more of a reluctant king of the mythological world of Atlantis, which will be explored in next year’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom movie. One of the strengths of the first Black Panther was the strong lean into the culture of Wakanda, even if fictional, which made it feel more grounded in the MCU, and it appears that’s very much what will be happening with the Atlanteans in Black Panther 2.

While Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is basing their Atlantis off a specific culture, it’s still very much a fictional world, but a fitting one for the MCU, given what they’ve created thus far. It also helps differentiate the various groups, cultures, organizations, etc., giving them a stronger identity among their counterparts in the MCU. Regardless of how real or fictional it all is, the most important aspect of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is simply the much-anticipated appearance of the character, which has been a long time coming.

Source: LA Times

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