Although characters like Spider-Man, Hulk and the X-Men usually come to mind first when thinking about Marvel Comics, it was actually Namor the Sub-Mariner that arguably kicked off this epic mythology when he debuted in April 1939, months before the Golden Age Human Torch and Captain America were introduced. However, over the years it's been unclear if the Marvel Cinematic Universe could use the character, but apparently we've now reached a point where there aren't any issues with bringing him in.
While speaking with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, reporter Erick Weber learned that Namor could make an appearance in the MCU. However, before any of you start celebrating, Feige added that he and the MCU brass are still figuring out if and when the Atlantean hero will show up. In other words, there aren't any concrete plans for Namor just yet, but it's still good to know that MCU has access to him.
In the 2000s, Universal Pictures started developing a Namor the Sub-Mariner, but nothing ever surfaced with that (pun slightly intended). By 2014, Kevin Feige said that the film rights to the character had reverted to Marvel Studios, but there were contracts and deals that still needed to be sorted out. Earlier this year, Feige maintained that there were still "complications" in play (similar to the issues surrounding another solo Hulk movie), but evidently in the months since then those have been solved if Feige says there's thought being poured into what to do with Namor.
For those unfamiliar with Namor the Sub-Mariner, like DC's Aquaman, he is the son of a human father and an Atlantean woman, the latter being the daughter of Emperor Thakorr. Unlike Aquaman, rather than being raised on the surface, Namor grew up in Atlantis and eventually became the prince of the underwater nation. Officially classified as a mutant in the comics, Namor's powers include super strength, breathing underwater, an extended life span and using the tiny wings on his ankles to fly.
Another thing that distinguishes Namor the Sub-Mariner from Aquaman is that rather than fit firmly in the superhero category, he treads the anti-hero line more. There are times where he's protected humanity, but on other occasions, he's attacked the surface to exact vengeance for perceived crimes against Atlantis. Outside of the comics, Namor has appeared in numerous animated TV shows and video games, but obviously featuring him in the MCU would introduce him to a lot of people.
Whether Namor the Sub-Mariner were to lead his own movie in the MCU or have a supporting role in another, I think it's definitely worth bringing him during Phase 4 or beyond. We've had plenty of Marvel movies set on Earth, but none have delved into the mysteries that lie in its oceans. Just like what Aquaman is doing for the DC Extended Universe, Namor can open up a brand-new realm to explore in this franchise.
It's also worth noting that ever since Namer was re-introduced in the Silver Age of Comics in Fantastic Four #4, he's had particularly close ties with Marvel's First Family. Since the Fantastic Four and X-Men properties will be integrated into the MCU once the Disney-Fox deal is in effect, maybe Namor could appear in a Fantastic Four movie, and then branch off his own later down the line (similar to what was being planned for the Silver Surfer after Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer).
We here at CinemaBlend will be sure to let you know about any updates concerning Namor the Sub-Mariner appearing in the MCU. In the meantime, look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what this franchise has in development.