As the title implies, what follows is nearly 100% rumor-fueled speculation, so keep that in mind before getting too excited. A new rumor, from what has previously been a reliable source, indicates that Marvel may finally be moving forward with a live-action adaptation of one of their oldest properties: Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
The rumor comes from the Reel News Hawaii Twitter feed, which was the source of the news that Marvel Television would film The Inhumans on a newly purchased Naval base in Kalaeloa, Hawaii. According to the feed, Marvel may also be looking to use the location, which he is referring to as Marvel Studios Oahu, for an as yet unannounced “Submariner” film:
There’s buzz around the island that two rival productions could be swimming on our waters. “Aquaman” & “Submariner”. Fingers crossed! pic.twitter.com/1WLbZkWJAN
— Reel News Hawaii (@reelnewshawaii)
Before going any further, let’s take a clear look at all the facts in this article so far:
Marvel is filming The Inhumans in a newly purchased Naval base, which they have converted to a studio, in Kalaeloa, Hawaii.
With that out of the way, we can speculate a bit about why now might be the right time for Marvel Studios to move ahead with a Namor project.
Namor is, no matter how you cut it, one of Marvel Comics oldest characters. First appearing alongside the android Human Torch (Jim Hammond) in 1939, Namor is human/Atlantean hybrid that is among the most powerful and least trustworthy of Marvel’s stable of characters. A charismatic and powerful leader, Namor has worked both with and against Marvel’s heroes, often choosing to serve the best interests of himself and his kingdom of Atlantis over the greater good. His arrogance and duality make him the perfect antihero.
The live-action rights to Namor were in the hands of the good folks of Universal Studios for quite a while and they had plans, dating back to 2004, to give the the monarch of Atlantis his own film. Those plans obviously fell through, but for a long time the rights to Namor seemed to be in a very, very grey area. So grey, that not even Kevin Feige or Joe Quesada seemed to be entirely clear. In 2014, it was reported that Namor’s rights had come back to Marvel Studios but with some potential hangups that might make a Namor solo film cost prohibitive for Marvel Stuidos (it’s always been a thought in my head that maybe, like Hulk, Marvel could make a solo movie but Universal would still be the distributor). Finally, last year Quesada confirmed that Namor was home, but did not make any mention of plans for a project.
If Marvel Studios or Marvel Television (I really don’t think that makes sense because a Namor series would be high budget) is moving ahead with a Namor project, nobody knows about it. Now that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Marvel Studios has 3 release dates for unnamed films in 2020. One of them could certainly be a Namor film. If Marvel was going to move forward with a Namor film in 2020, we wouldn’t be likely to hear much about it before 2018 as Feige has said that the titles of the films that follow 2019’s fourth Avengers film could be considered spoilers. So we are left with a tweet that even the tweeter says is a rumor and, when I followed up with him, told me that he really had nothing more than that.
With all that in the mix, it does seem a really good time for Marvel Studios to finally move forward with a Namor film. Namor is exactly the type of character that could be threaded through multiple films and shake up whatever the new status quo is in the wake of Thanos’ Infinity War. He’s an interesting character with over 75 years of stories from which to choose and is such a singular character, even on Marvel’s deep roster, that he would stand apart from everything that has come before. He has history with Captain America and brought his legendary wrath to land in an epic battle against Wakanda (we at the MCU Exchange have LONG hoped that a Black Panther sequel would feature this battle). Despite his antihero status, he’s paired with the Avengers to save the world and was one of those chosen to serve on Marvel’s Illuminati. Of all the characters we know Marvel could use in a film, Namor seems the true wild card.
The tweet above mentions Warner Bros. Aquaman movie, currently slated for fall of 2018, and while it hasn’t been in Marvel Studios playbook so far to go head-to-head by going character-for-character, Namor following Aquaman would certainly seem an attempt at one-upmanship. However, I’m fairly certain that the minds at Marvel Studios could come up with something to help Namor stand apart. Who knows, maybe Marvel’s recently resurrected script program has already found a way.
Maybe all of this will die as a rumor. Maybe Marvel is going to use Namor as a character in another film and will film in Hawaii. With his introduction, we could assemble the classic comic book Defenders on screen! Maybe the introduction of Namor will come ahead of Marvel regaining the rights to the Fantastic Four and we can really get nuts!! Whatever happens, if there was a silver lining to be found in this rumor not coming to fruition, it’s that Marvel could very well be establishing Hawaii as it’s new production hotspot similar to what they did with London and Atlanta.
What do you think about this rumor? Are you behind a Namor film? Who would you like to see in the role and what classic stories would you like to see adapted? Let us know!
Sources: Comicbook.com, Comic Book Brain Splatter, Reel News Hawaii