Black Panther 2 Actor Teases T’Challa’s Major Impact on Namor
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is only a few months away from its debut, bringing a thrilling new character into the MCU with Tenoch Huerta’s Namor the Sub-Mariner. Following a long issue over his movie rights with Universal Pictures, the underwater ruler is set to bring his full might against the Wakandans as the movie’s main villain.
Marvel just delivered the first full look at Huerta as Namor in the first Black Panther 2 trailer from San Diego Comic-Con, teasing his intensity and the battles he’ll lead between his people and the sequel’s central heroes. But unfortunately, due to Chadwick Boseman’s passing nearly two years ago, fans won’t get to see the relationship between Huerta’s villain and King T’Challa.
In the comics, Namor and T’Challa have been everything from close allies to nearly mortal enemies, meaning that their previously unrevealed ties in Black Panther 2 should be a key part of the plot’s evolution.
Speaking about his experience with the character, Huerta even touched on that relationship as he explored the impact that Boseman’s T’Challa will have on the Namor actor’s first MCU movie.
Namor Star on Relationship with Boseman’s T’Challa
In an interview with Black Girl Nerds, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta discussed the relationship between Namor the Sub-Mariner and T’Challa in the comics and in the MCU.
While teasing the “deep admiration” that Namor has for Black Panther, he also explained how big of an inspiration the late Chadwick Boseman is for him “as an actor and as a simple human being.” He loves how much the cast can feel Boseman’s presence in this movie while so many other cultural aspects are included as well:
“Well, my character, and personally, it is fun, because my character has a deep admiration for Black Panther… T’Challa… But, me as an actor and as a simple human being, what Chadwick means: so powerful, so deep, it’s extraordinary. And it’s… Yeah, it’s a big inspiration. So, in different levels, in the fiction and the real life, [to] be part of this and feel his presence… through the legacy, through the people who [were] involved in this project is fantastic. As I mentioned a moment before, it’s like his shadow is in the wall. So you line the shadow, and then you put a lot of colors, and music, and love, and you are part of that because it’s your colors as well. You know, your culture, your music is there, and it’s beautiful [to] be part of that, you know what I mean?”
Additionally, Nakia star Lupita Nyong’o reflected on her experience coming back to film Black Panther 2 after being away from the MCU for a few years.
Describing the intense emotions that went through her as she returned, she admitted that it “always felt right” due to the story that this movie’s creative dream developed for the sequel. Nyong’o has a great feeling that fans will be “super, super excited to watch this film” and even described it all as “a big hug:”
“… It was bizarre, I have to say. It was moving. There was a lot of emotions. A lot of emotions. But you know, the one thing I have to admit, it always felt right. It felt right and the story that Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole have created… is totally respectful of the truth… of the fact that we lost our king. And I think that that made it easier to step on set, because it wasn’t about, ‘Okay, forget that. Let’s keep going.’ No… I think it’s a great lesson in… You’ve got to learn the lessons from your life, you’ve got to take the tools from your life, and use them to fuel your art. And I really feel that’s what we did with this film. And I feel like everyone’s gonna be super, super excited to watch this film, and they’re gonna have a great time… I think this is a big hug, this film… Yeah, I would describe it as a hug.”
Namor’s Respect for Late King T’Challa
With Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa confirmed to have passed away in this movie, fans will never get to see Namor actually interact with him, just as they did so often in the Marvel Comics pages. But the great thing is that the underwater ruler still seems to have a level of respect for the late Wakandan king, which translates even more so to Huerta’s feelings about Boseman in real life.
These feelings should make for an even more emotional duel between their countries in Black Panther 2 after Dominique Thorne’s Ironheart reportedly incites the upcoming conflict that will play a key role in the story. Namor’s feelings for T’Challa may keep him from going too hard on his land-based rivals, but the emotions are sure to be there as he fights to protect his own people.
As for Lupita Nyong’o’s comments, she only reaffirms how much Boseman’s presence is felt throughout this movie and how much the cast and crew banded together to pay tribute to his memory. While many of the plot details are still a mystery, the late MCU star’s presence will unquestionably be felt as Phase 4 comes to an end in Wakanda.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere in theaters on November 11.