Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which hit theaters in November 2022, proved to be quite a success at the box office for a number of reasons. The incorporation of Namor is an antagonist in the movie who would threaten the safety of Wakanda, however, his character was perceived as an anti-hero with the intention of protecting his nation.
Meanwhile, Namor was a part of Marvel Comics, his kingdom as per Black Panther 2, was one created anew as Atlantis was used in several projects already. Inspired by Latin American legends, Ryan Coogler built Talokan with the name itself inspired by Aztec legends of “Tlālōcān.”
Black Panther 2 writer explains using Talokan as Namor’s Kingdom
Talokan, which was depicted as Namor’s Kingdom in Black Panther, is inspired by Latin-American cultures, with the name based on an Aztec legend “Tlālōcān”. While Namor was a confirmed choice for Black Panther 2, it was assumed that his kingdom will be Atlantis, as depicted in the comics. However, it was decided to completely reinvent the kingdom into something new.
The decision to make Talokan Namor’s kingdom instead of Atlantis was fuelled by the fact that Atlantis has been used in countless projects and Coogler wanted to do something different for the sequel to Black Panther (2018).
Talking about the roots of the kingdom Talokan in the rewritten story of Black Panther 2, Joe Robert Cole who co-wrote the screenplay said,
“And we wanted, similar to Wakanda, to make Atlantis feel like a place that was real in the world. So we had started that work of rooting Talokan to an ancient Mayan community, that kind of broke away and hid the depths of the ocean and really digging into the meso-American history of the Mayan people.”
Basing Namor’s kingdom in a place of rich culture and deep mythology, the movie mirrors Wakanda’s isolation from the rest of the world. When threatened by forces out of their isolated nation, Namor gives Wakanda the choice of alliance between the nations.
It is also to be noted, Ryan Coogler worked with professionals from the Mayan community to get the details right so they don’t make any mistakes. This decision was also respectful toward the community as Namor’s kingdom shared history with the Mayan civilization.
Tenoch Huerta comments about his character’s kingdom
Tenoch Huerta, who plays the Feather Serpent God, K’uk’ulkan, in Black Panther 2, is the protector of the Talokan Kingdom. When challenged by outside forces, Namor is ready to go to any lengths to save his people from threats. Even as far as destroying Wakanda, its secret sister city.
The decision to change Namor’s kingdom from Atlantis to Talokan was much-appreciated as it brings along the inclusion of another community of color to broaden the perspective of the film. Making its roots in Meso-American history, Tenoch Huerta found a deeper meaning as it’s a part of his personal heritage.
Talking about his role, Huerta said, “Namor loves his people, and he’s gonna protect them because to be a ruler you have to serve the people.”
“Finally [he] could find a more powerful representation of [his] culture, with dignity and respect.” he further revealed the impact of making Namor’s Kingdom one with Meso-American roots.
The history of Talokan could even pave a path to Namor’s solo movie which fans are very enthusiastic about.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out in theaters and soon will be streaming on Disney+.
Source: Rolling Stone