Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Producer Nate Moore Explains Marvel’s Approach To Using The Word ‘Mutant’

SPOILERS are ahead for Marvel’s latest, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Finally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is beginning to embrace the existence of mutants among its many heroes and villains. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Tenoch Huerta’s steals the show as Namor, and when sharing his origins the Sub-Mariner confirms he’s a mutant. In light of that, we were curious about the studio’s approach to this very important word in the universe these days. 

To answer that question, during CinemaBlend’s Wakanda Forever interviews, our own Eric Eisenberg asked Black Panther producer Nate Moore about the philosophy they took when it comes to throwing the word “mutant” around in the new movie. Here’s what Moore told us: 

Look, I mean Namor is the first mutant and we wanted to be true to that as a piece of mythology from publishing. Obviously, there are legal ramifications to everything, and it was sort of like, ‘Hey, can we say this?’ But, it is fun to sort of lay the groundwork for a franchise, hopefully, in the future that is near to my heart, and I think near to a lot of people’s hearts. And I know even for Tenoch, who is a fan of Namor, he was so excited like, ‘Do I get to say it?’ And we’re like, ‘We can!’ That’s fun, and I think it just goes to show how much the universe is expanding and to be able to sort of begin to use all of the tools from, you know, the 60 some plus years of publishing is really exciting.

Namor got his start in Marvel Comics back in 1939, and he is often called “Marvel’s First Mutant”  in the publication’s chronological history. The character even has origins that date back before the creation of DC Comics’ own Aquaman. In Namor’s Wakanda Forever origins, it’s shared that he is born a mutant because his mother followed a shaman who used a herb, the same one as the heart-shaped herb the Black Panther uses, to help survive the invasion of Spanish colonizers back in the 16th century. 

Namor’s mother was pregnant with him when the flower was given to her, impacting his physiology to be different from his mother and people’s transformation. The other 16th-century Mexicans turned blue and could only breathe underwater after ingesting the flower. However, Namor, who was underwater when he was born, has the ability to breathe in both environments. He also has winged ankles that give him super speed in the air and sea. In short, he's a mutant. 

The addition of Namor into the MCU comes following the revelation that Ms. Marvel is a mutant in her Disney+ series, along with Patrick Stewart returning as Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While these few characters are not necessarily leading to the X-Men for the time being, the existence of mutants in the MCU is a huge step toward that happening someday. 

Wakanda Forever marks the final film in Marvel Studios’ Phase 4, which is one of three phases that will be part of The Multiverse Saga. And coming up, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine are already set to join the franchise in late 2024 in Deadpool 3, confirming even more mutants in the MCU. That’s right, Namor is yet another signal the mutants are going to have a larger presence in the MCU! 

Following the Black Panther sequel, you can check out our explanation of the Wakanda Forever ending and keep updated on what upcoming Marvel movies are coming our way next. Until then, welcome Namor! 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.