Namor (Tenoch Huerta) makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but director Ryan Coogler planned for the mutant Sub-Mariner to surface in 2018's Black Panther. The original film — which ultimately did not tease the arrival of the ruler of the undersea kingdom of Talocan — instead ends with two credits scenes. In one, King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) opens the African nation of Wakanda to the world before the United Nations; in the other, Shuri (Letitia Wright) visits Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the "White Wolf," living in Wakanda after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
"Ryan had a pitch for a tag at the end of Black Panther," producer and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told Empire Magazine. "The camera would push through the palace in Wakanda, and then we'd see wet footprints leading up to the throne."
While that post-credits scene didn't happen, Black Panther's mid-credits scene directly sets up Wakanda Forever. According to Empire, Namor is "drawn to the surface by the ramifications of T'Challa's decision in Black Panther's final reel to reveal the truth of Wakanda to the world."
"That decision puts Talocan in jeopardy," Huerta said of Namor's kingdom. "And Talocan has to take action to protect themselves."
Marvel Studios planted another seed for Namor's war with Wakanda in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, where General Okoye (Danai Gurira) of the Dora Milaje reports on tremors under the African plate. ("It's an earthquake under the ocean," the Wakandan warrior said at the time. "We handle it by not handling it.")
But those underwater earthquakes were just the beginning. In Wakanda Forever, Shuri, Okoye, Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) are at the heart of the clash with Namor's nation as they grieve the death of their king: T'Challa.
Marvel chose not to recast Boseman, who died in August 2020 at the age of 43. While T'Challa and Namor's comic book rivalry won't make it to the screen in Wakanda Forever, it's a battle that will be waged by the new Black Panther.
"The contrast between T'Challa and Namor – their characters, and their nations – just leaps off the page," Coogler told Empire of the comics. "He's a dream antagonist."
In Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M'Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T'Challa's death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livanalli. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on November 11.0comments