The Gentlemen star Henry Golding calls Namor the Submariner one of his "favorite characters" in the Marvel Universe, but the actor claims he's yet to have any official talks about boarding a Marvel Studios franchise. His star on the rise — Golding starred in hit film Crazy Rich Asians and next leads G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes — the 32-year-old actor is "of course" open to joining either the Marvel or DC cinematic universes, but Golding is a self-professed "big fan" of Marvel and one of its earliest hit characters whose screen rights were rumored to have come under the full control of Disney-owned Marvel Studios in recent weeks.
"He is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe," Golding told MTV News when asked about playing Namor amid fan calls for Golding to claim the role. "He straddles his own world. He's not a villain, he's not a hero, he's an anti-hero in much of a sense. His sort of goals lie within protecting the Atlanteans, his people. And so whatever stands in that way, whatever is putting that at risk, that is his enemy."
Rumbles have pointed to the character possibly crossing paths with Wakanda king T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in Black Panther II, a possibility brought to life by fan-created posters and artists who have imagined Golding in the role.
"I think, from my understanding, at the moment Wakanda is the greatest threat to his existence," Golding said of the comic book rivalry between the African kingdom and Namor's own undersea domain. "Which I love, and so he becomes the anti-hero."
Asked if he's had any conversations with Marvel Studios, Golding answered with a smile and a laugh, "No, of course not. No, no, no, no. No, but again, I'm a big fan."
Golding did admit to a casual encounter with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the famed baseball cap-sporting producer behind Iron Man and The Avengers.
"I was on a flight to film The Gentlemen, and I look over, and there's a dude with a baseball cap. I'm like, 'He looks kind of familiar. F— me, that's Kevin Feige. Holy crap,'" Golding said. "I was just like, 'No, it's not.' There's no right time to sort of say hello, and so we went through the flight, and it was just as we left, I was like, 'Look, I just wanted to say thank you. I've followed, and so has everybody else for so many years, this anthology of amazing characters, and I'm excited for what you guys have for the next chapter.' And he was like, 'Oh, we've got so much planned.'"
"I'm excited for what they do," Golding continued. "If I'm a part of it, even better, but you know what? As a longtime fan, I'm grateful they're still making them."
The Gentlemen is now playing.