Yesterday, Universal Pictures conspicuously planted a flag on November 4th, 2016, for feature only known right now as Untitled Event Project. With the date being only two years away, it seems unusual that this film would not yet even have a title, but the "event" distinction seems key. Since it was reported that blockbuster-happy Legendary Pictures is involved, speculation has been getting out of control, but the most intriguing idea has to be that the movie is actually Namor, based on the character from Marvel Comics.
Latino-Review reportedly did some detective work and from the intel they have gathered there is a possibility that a Namor movie could be coming in 2016. Their source claims the movie is, "new, and not a sequel or remake, though it may be based on underlying intellectual property." Naturally, that leads one to wonder if it could end up being the big screen emergence of the one Marvel property owned by Universal.
Namor, for those of you in the dark, was actually one of Marvel's first superheroes, his premiere on the page going all the way back to 1939. The character is the super strong and super headstrong leader of Atlantis (the fabled underwater city), and is gifted with the ability to walk among the mortals and take to the skies in flight. Filmmakers like Chris Columbus and Jonathan Mostow have been connected to the property in years past, with Dwayne Johnson one of many names thrown around to play the often hotheaded hero - a character who occasionally opted for flat-out terrorism against humans that threatened the underseas world. Unlike 20th Century Fox and New Line, who lost rights to Marvel properties in the past due to lack of developing projects, Universal has somehow been able to extend their hold on the Prince Of The Deep despite years passing without any real movement on a feature.
Interestingly, the announcement of the release date comes around the same time that Zac Efron has been rumored to be up for a Marvel film. Given that Namor is frequently half-naked, just like Efron, it makes sense to make that association, as Efron would be a good mix for the character's haughty mix of arrogance and malevolence. The High School Musical actor's star has risen considerably in the last week thanks to the box office performance of Neighbors. Is it enough to give him the lead in a major tentpole franchise?
Latino Review also suggests there's some inside baseball at play here as well, saying that Marvel is hoping to get Namor onscreen before Warner Bros. ever gets to move forward with their similarly-water based hero Aquaman.The latter has been at the center of his own rumors as well, said to possibly be an addition to the in-development Justice League (which is believed to be scheduled no sooner than 2017). If Namor beats Aquaman to the big screen, it would seriously deflate Warner Bros. hopes to establish the character as one meriting his own franchise.
Of course, this is really all speculation and scuttlebutt for now. The folks at Legendary Pictures are no strangers to superheroes, having produced the Dark Knight movies and Man Of Steel, not to mention Godzilla and Universal's upcoming Warcraft. Latino Review lists a couple of upcoming Universal projects including Hot Wheels (not event-y enough!), Will Smith's Brilliance (why so secretive?), or the videogame adaptation Mass Effect (maybe!) as other projects filling the release date. All of those films are much further into development than Namor, so it's possible they have the leg up. Only Universal knows for now.