Marvel Writer Teases MCU Plans for Namor After Illuminati Absence

Doctor Strange 2 spoilers follow. When Marvel Studios confirmed that The Illuminati would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness it was a concept that made some readers ears perk up. In the pages of Marvel Comics, the group The Illuminati was, naturally, a secret society that functioned in the shadows. As they put it in the film, they make the tough decisions when other groups can't. The line-up for the group in the Marvel Comics was made up of heavy hitters Professor X, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, and Namor. Doctor Strange 2 used three of these characters for its line-up and talked about a fourth, but Marvel has other plans.

Speaking in an interview with Variety, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron was asked if there was ever a possibility that Namor would have been in the group, confirming that it was considered, but Marvel has other plans for the King of Atlantis. "[We] talked about him, because he's certainly an original member of the Illuminati," the Loki writer revealed. "But I think Marvel has other plans for him in the MCU. And so he didn't make his way in this particular movie."

This is an interesting way of putting it for the character to not appear and begs the question, what's the plan for the other characters that made their MCU debut as part of the 838 Illuminati? Patrick Stewart's Professor X and Anson Mount's Black Bolt appearances seem to be mostly cheeky references to them having played the characters previously, with the addition of John Krasinski as Reed Richards (appearing only to be killed) coming across as a joke on fans that frequently asked for The Office start to be cast. But what about the MCU (now, 616) versions of the X-Men, The Inhumans, and the Fantastic Four? Plans are in place for two of them, as we know, but what was done in Doctor Strange 2 didn't hamper those at all?

Rumors have persisted for some time that Namor will appear in the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, something that Marvel Studios has not confirmed or corroborated. If it turns out to be true though it would make sense for his absence in this alternate universe as Marvel would want audiences to only think about Namor in the context of how he appears in the Black Panther follow-up, and not confuse him with something they saw here. Imagine in theory if an actor appeared as Namor in Doctor Strange 2 and was immediately killed by Scarlet Witch, only to appear as the 616-variant of Namor less than a year later opposing the people of Wakanda (as Namor is want to do in Marvel comics). The tension would be gone for many.

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In any event this quote give us a lot to chew on. Marvel Studios is not only thinking about doing something with Namor, but it's something that they don't want to be hindered by what fans saw in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It's a lot to ponder, and makes you wonder why they were okay with turning Reed Richards, the smartest man in the world, into spaghetti in front of everyone's eyes while actively developing a new Fantastic Four movie. Maybe we'll find out soon.