Marvel Studios has made some pretty surprising casting choices over the years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite that, some may be quite shocked by this latest piece of news. The massive company reportedly approached a WWE star to audition for the role of Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Wrestling fans might be interested to learn that there was a chance that the studio could've rolled the dice on none other than Damian Priest for the massive MCU role.
The idea of the Judgement Day member being approached by Marvel to audition for the role of Namor, the leader of the underwater world of Talokan is interesting. According to Fightful Select, it’s unclear as to whether or not the wrestler, whose real name Luis Martinez, actually auditioned for the role. But after hearing this news, it's hard to get the notion of him playing the classic superhero out of my head.
While it may be weird to hear that an inexperienced actor like Damian Priest may have been approached for such a meaty role in the MCU, it’s not entirely surprising for a WWE wrestler would be asked to audition. Dave Bautista found great success in the massive franchise as Guardians of the Galaxy's Drax the Destroyer and, after nearly a decade, he'll say goodbye to the character after his turn in the upcoming Vol. 3. John Cena is also making a splash in the superhero space, as he continues his work as Peacemaker for DC Studios. So there’s certainly space for professional wrestlers in the superhero genre.
It also isn’t hard to believe that Damian Priest was at one point in consideration to play the character of Namor, considering the fresh character direction Black Panther: Wakanda Forever took the iconic warrior in. The movie altered antihero's origins and switched out his homeworld of Atlantis for the Mayan-inspired Talokan. And ultimately, Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta was cast in the role.
Priest is of Puerto Rican descent, and that falls in line with the plans that Marvel and director Ryan Coogler had in mind for the character. Obviously, Priest missed out on the role this time, but perhaps there’s an opportunity for him to appear as a relative or confidant of Namor’s at a later date.
For now, Damian Priest is hustling and preparing for upcoming WWE events, as Survivor Series approaches and WrestleMania season is just around the corner. It’s hard to say what his plans are for the latter or where his faction may lead him in the new year, but Priest has consistently proven that he has what it takes to be one of the top stars of the company.
Many of the WWE’s former top stars later went on to have very successful acting careers in Hollywood, so who knows, maybe Marvel was ahead of the curve -- if it did indeed try to scoop up the wrestler. We'll just have to wait and see what the future holds for the man once referred to as "Punisher Martinez."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters. It’s the final MCU movie planned for 2022 but, don’t worry, there are plenty of upcoming Marvel movies on the schedule for 2023 and beyond. As for Damian Priest, he’s a fixture on Monday Night Raw, which airs on USA Network on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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