Marvel has bad news for anyone expecting Namor and his mighty bulge to get a solo movie

namor black panther wakanda forever
Image via Marvel Studios

For a long time, it looked as though audiences would never get the chance to see Namor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Kevin Feige having repeatedly described the rights issues regarding the iconic character as “complicated.”

Of course, things changed when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever entered development, with director Ryan Coogler finally getting his wish to utilize the ruler of Atlantis (now named Talokan) having been denied the first time around. Tenoch Huerta won widespread plaudits for his performance as the entirely justified antagonist of the sequel, and there’s no doubt he’ll be back on our screens eventually.

However, it’s best to ignore any and all internet rumors claiming that a Namor solo project is in development, because it turns out that Marvel Studios are legally forbidden from making one. Similar to the Hulk, Universal still controls the rights to the Sub-Mariner’s standalone adventures, so it sounds like he’ll be joining Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner as a strictly supporting player.

A report from The Wrap digs into the specifics, but Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore was the one to deliver the bad news after admitting that there are certain things Marvel can and cannot do with Namor, which includes putting him center stage in his own feature film.

“It honestly affects us more, and not to talk too much out of school, but in how we market the film than it does how we use him in the film. There weren’t really things we couldn’t do from a character perspective for him, which is good because clearly, we took a ton of inspiration from the source material, but we also made some big changes to really anchor him in that world in a truth that publishing never really landed on, I would argue, in a big way.”

Universal was developing a Namor film at one stage over a decade ago, but in keeping with the studio’s approach to the comic book characters it owns, the studio’s top brass are happy to retain control over solo efforts without making them, leaving the MCU to feed on the scraps.