Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is rumored to set up another major franchise in the MCU, this time for the character of Namor. Black Panther is one of Marvel Studios’ most successful films as it is the thirteenth highest-grossing film worldwide, with $1.3 billion dollars. It is also the only Marvel Studios film to earn an Academy Award for Best Picture. Ryan Coogler returns to helm the highly anticipated sequel but has been keeping much of the film a secret.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has had a very difficult production. The tragic passing of star Chadwick Boseman in 2020 led to a full rewrite of the script, forcing the film’s release date to be pushed from May 6, 2022, to November 11, 2022. Marvel Studios made the decision to not recast T’Challa in honor of Boseman, and many rumors have pointed to his sister Shuri taking up the mantle of Black Panther. However, star Letitia Wright sustained an injury on set, and while they filmed around her as much as they could, production shut down for two months. Wright has since returned to set and filming is set to begin with about a month’s work of shooting left on the film.
While plot details on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are scarce, one prevalent rumor is that it will feature the character Namor the Submariner. According to BleedingCool, the sequel is rumored to feature Namor, his Namora, and Atlantean warlord Attuma and will feature a war between Wakanda and Atlantis. Namor’s presence in the film is akin to Black Panther’s in Captain America: Civil War with the plan to spin Namor off into his own film.
Created by writer and artist Bill Evert in 1939, Namor is one of the first superheroes of the Golden Age of Comics and a major character for Marvel Comics when it was then named Timely Comics. Stan Lee brought the character back in the pages of The Fantastic Four #4 in 1962 and has since been a major player in the Marvel Universe as the ruler of Atlantis. He has often found himself as both an enemy and ally to The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, The X-Men, Doctor Doom, and many others. Universal Pictures held the film rights to the character and both Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone‘s Chris Columbus and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine‘s Jonathan Mostow were attached to direct. For years, it was a question if Marvel Studios had gained the rights to the character back or if Universal still held them, but if the rumor is true, it appears the option for Universal must have lapsed.
Marvel Studios has laid the groundwork for Atlantis and Namor to appear in the MCU for years. Iron Man 2 features a S.H.I.E.L.D logo on a map over the ocean. Avengers: Endgame featured a reference to an underwater earthquake, and most recently, the event of Eternals featured the Celestial Tiamut emerging from the Indian Ocean, which likely would have caused a major disturbance to Atlantis. With The Fantastic Four set to join the MCU, it appears like the right time for Namor to make his big-screen debut. The concept of having advanced civilizations like Atlantis and Wakanda fighting would certainly be a bold direction for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and could introduce the next breakout hero for the MCU.
Next: Eternals’ Ending May Set Up Atlantis & Namor For Black Panther 2
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