In a further example of his seeming disdain for the very material upon which the films he works on are based, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore has stood by the changes made to Namor’s character in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on the grounds that they “really anchored him in that world in a truth that publishing never really landed on”.
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Moore, who in addition to producing the latest Black Panther outing has also provided his services on such other MCU entries as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Eternals, offered his defense of the Sub-Mariner’s new characterization as the Mesoamerican-inspired ‘Boy Without Love’ during a recent interview with The Wrap centered around the character’s future.
In light of the film rights to Namor being in a similar state of flux as the Hulk’s – Universal still owns the film rights to both, and thus they cannot appear in any solo films, only ensemble projects – Moore confirmed to the outlet’s Drew Taylor that while the aquatic anti-hero “can return”, his being “borrowed” meant that he was indeed beholden to the same restrictions as the Jade Giant.
“It honestly affects us more, and not to talk too much out of school, but in how we market the film than it does how we use him in the film,” he added.
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However, while Universal’s licensing of Namor back to Marvel presented issues in how his character could be marketed, Moore revealed that said agreement presented no such guidelines in regards “things we couldn’t do from a character perspective for him.”
“Which is good because clearly,” asserted Moore, “we took a ton of inspiration from the source material, but we also made some big changes to really anchor him in that world in a truth that publishing never really landed on, I would argue, in a big way.”
“I’ve read every Namor comic ever written and I love them, but the world of Atlantis is a little vaguely drawn,” then argued “It’s maybe kind of Roman maybe.”
“And so, Ryan is such a detail-oriented filmmaker that he wanted to anchor into something that felt as tangible and real as hopefully Wakanda feels for people,” Moore then recalled, ostensibly confirming that the ‘truth’ in which the MCU Atlanteans were rooted in was solely-related to their new Mesoamerican identities.
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“And I think there was nothing from a business side anyway that was preventing us from doing that, which is great,” he concluded.
While unfortunate, Moore’s pride in disregarding Namor’s established character comes as no surprise given how the producer considers it a “red flag” if a potential Marvel Studios writer is a fan of the original comic books.
“One thing I think is interesting, and specifically for writers I would say, is that a lot of times we’re pitched writers who love Marvel, and to me that’s always a red flag,” Moore told host Matthew Belloni during an appearance on the November 16th episode of The Ringer’s The Town podcast.
“I don’t want you to already have a pre-existing idea of what it is, because you grew up with the comics and that’s what you want to recreate,” he opined. “I want someone who’s going to be hard on the material, who can go ‘What is this? I think there’s a movie here. but maybe we should be looking at it in this way’”
“I think that’s important to be able to go ‘Look, the source material is great, and I love it and comics work great in the medium they were built in, but that’s not a direct, one-to-one translation to the best version of the movie,” he asserted. “And sometimes it takes someone who’s out of the culture to go ‘Hey, I know you think it should be this, but maybe it should be this other thing!’”
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