Director Ryan Coogler Wanted To Embrace Namor's Weirdness In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

At long last, Marvel's first mutant and surliest hero (who sometimes works at self-serving cross-purposes to his would-be allies) is finally ready for his MCU close-up. Namor, aka The Sub-Mariner, has been around as a comic book character since 1939, but he didn't draw Hollywood's interest until the late 1990s, when Universal sought to mount a film adaptation directed by Philip Kaufman (whose eclectic taste varies from the raucous "The Right Stuff" to the deeply erotic "The Unbearable Lightness of Being). After several failed attempts at a solo adventure, Marvel Studios was finally able to work out a deal with the Atlantan ruler's rights-holder, Universal Pictures, that allowed him to join the company's cinematic universe.

Namor is set to make his big-screen debut this fall in the hotly anticipated "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," where he'll lock horns with the grieving people of the fictional African country. We won't know until then if Namor (played by Tenoch Huerta) will finish the film out as a foe, but we are well aware that he'll be causing no shortage of trouble in defense of his threatened underwater kingdom, Talocan (a civilization invented for the movie). When it came to the character's depiction, director Ryan Coogler was adamant about holding on to the quirky design flourishes that make him such an irresistible badass in the comics.

Meet the feisty, feathered serpent god

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly timed to the release of the second trailer for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Coogler makes it clear to the character's fans that his Namor will be infused with a classical look. According to the director:

"'I think with making these types of movies, you've got to lean into the weird stuff, or you risk missing what makes it fun. He's got really unique features and things that don't necessarily go together. He can breathe underwater, obviously, but he's got these little wings on his ankles. He's got pointy ears and walks around in his underwear. It's all fun, man.'"

It's all there in the new trailer, which also gives us our first clear look at the new Black Panther. Neither of the film's promotional spots shows him interacting on a meaningful level with other characters, so we'll have to wait another month to find out just where the MCU's iteration of the Sub-Mariner lands on the character's chippiness scale. Here's hoping he's a big ol' sexy jerk!

Namor will flap-flap-flap his feet into theaters (and, hopefully, our hearts) on November 11, 2022.