Namor the Sub-Mariner has been a Marvel staple since the ’40s, back when he used to punch Nazis. Universal has owned the film rights to the aquatic hero for a while, and last we heard, he was getting a movie in 2016 starring Zac Efron. So, yes, Universal hasn’t made him a high priority. But it sounds like Namor will finally make it to the big screen as Marvel honcho Joe Quesada claims he’s back home.
During a recent Fat Man on Batman podcast, Quesada claimed Namor’s rights are back with Marvel. That would make sense for a few reasons, the least of which is that Universal doesn’t need any superheroes. Jurassic World and Furious 7 both handily outgrossed Avengers: Age of Ultron, and any Namor movie Universal would make would mean they’d have to share the money with Marvel.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they haven’t strategically held onto the rights, but it’s a bit hard to see how Marvel would even use Namor in the first place. He’s generally associated with the Fantastic Four as one of their main antagonists, since he spent most of the ’60s as the Invisible Woman’s creepy Speedo-clad stalker. In recent years, he’s been made into one of Marvel’s behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, and was recently declared “The First Mutant” in an attempt to make him relevant again. But he’s more popular as a guest star than as a leading man in the comics, and it’s been that way for a while.
DC is going full speed ahead with Aquaman, it’s true, but DC has been campaigning to make you love Aquaman for five years now. Namor is a little harder to make fit. But, hey, the Avengers look like they have some openings, and Tony needs all the help he can get.