Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo played coy when asked if the blockbuster quietly referenced Marvel Comics superheroes Namor the Sub-Mariner and Captain Britain.
Asked if Endgame was hinting at Namor when then-Wakandan leader Okoye (Danai Gurira) reported oceanic earthquakes off the coast of Africa, Joe Russo told Happy Sad Confused podcast host Josh Horowitz, “Maaaybe.”
“Some people may interpret it that way,” said Anthony. Horowitz noted Joe “smiled when he said maybe.”
“It could just be an earthquake,” Joe added.
Another hard-to-catch potential reference came during a 1970-set scene in New Jersey, where a time-traveling Captain America (Chris Evans) overheard S.H.I.E.L.D. director Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) reference an agent with the surname “Braddock” — a potential tease for Brian Braddock, who operates as costumed superhero Captain Britain.
“I think we uh, maybe... or maybe it’s just a guy named Braddock [laughs],” Joe said.
In September, Marvel Studios was rumored to be interested in a potential Captain Britain and the Black Knight film, which would team Braddock with American superhero Dane Whitman, who sports a suit of armor and wields a magic sword as the Black Knight.
According to that report, director Guy Ritchie (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Disney’s Aladdin) was being eyed for the project.
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige previously stressed the rights situation surrounding aquatic superhero Namor — who in the comics has clashed with Wakanda and its king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) — was messy.
“It is [complicated]. I think there’s a way to probably figure it out but it does have — it’s not as a clean or clear as the majority of the other characters,” Feige told IGN.
In 2014, Feige said there were “entanglements that make it less easy” when asked if the seafaring superhero would ever join the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“There are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it,” Feige said. “As opposed to an Iron Man or any of the Avengers or any of the other Marvel characters where we could just put them in.”
Namor’s rights could be comparable to how Marvel Studios approaches the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and ancillary characters: rival Universal Pictures retains the right to distribute any Hulk-led solo movie, but Disney-owned Marvel can use Hulk and such supporting players as Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) in its Thor or Avengers films as they operate as part of a wider ensemble of characters.
Such terms would prohibit a Namor movie distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, but would allow the character — who has famously come into conflict with the Avengers and the Fantastic Four — to surface in the MCU, potentially in the Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther 2.
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