In the eyes of star Tenoch Huerta, the strictly-divided conflict between Wakanda and Atlantis at the center of Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever “portrays what is happening here in the United States between the minorities of this country.“
Huerta, who is set to star in the abruptly-decided Phase 4 endcap as an Azetc-inspired version of Namor the Sub-Mariner, shared his thoughts on the themes seen in his upcoming MCU debut during an interview given to The Los Angeles Times given at the recent D23 2022 expo.
Beginning by speaking specifically to how his incarnation of Marvel’s First Mutant differed from the original comic book version, the Narcos: Mexico star explained to outlet editor Jevon Phillips that “This new version responds to this time and how this world has transformed.”
“So for me it was natural and beautiful,” he noted, before excitedly asserting, “It could have been any brown-skinned Latin actor, but I got it. I love it, and I’m the guy. I’m Namor now!”
Turning to how the film would portray the two respective peoples and their terse-to-say-the-least relationship, Huerta detailed to Phillips, “You will see them in a light of … confrontation.”
“We don’t get along,” he said. “But, it’s funny, in the end, they have too much in common.”
Adding his personal take on the film’s central conflict, Huerta then observed, “It portrays what is happening here in the States, from my perspective, between the minorities of this country.”
“I think at some point we need to join together and create that different thing,” he concluded.
Huerta’s costar, M’Baku actor Winston Duke, also commented on the changes made to Namor’s character in adapting him for the silver screen, telling Phillips, “In our version, it feels a lot more real than fiction.”
“In the MCU fashion, we’ve grounded it in real cultural significance and cultural traditions,” he continued. “You see the Latinx contingent that is present visually.”
“Ryan Coogler’s creation within the Marvel cinematic landscape is one of deep honor and connection to real stuff,” Duke concluded. “So I think a lot of people are gonna see themselves represented.”
As noted above, the film’s “latinx” representation will come from the MCU’s version of the Atlanteans who rather than being their own sub-species of human will instead be portrayed as having descended from an ancient Aztec civilization.
Fans can catch the outcome of Namor’s showdown with the once-isolationist African nation – as well as the passing of the Black Panther mantle on to a new hero – when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th.