Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Tenoch Huerta – ‘I Have To Play the Bad Guy Who Destroys’

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. © 2022 MARVEL.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a pivotal film for Marvel Studios and the world of Wakanda. It’s a tribute to the late actor, Chadwick Boseman, and also a film about how T’Challa’s passing has affected those closest to him. Additionally, it introduces Namor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a mutant and ruler of an underwater world in the Atlantic Ocean.

Ryan Coogler worked on a version of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for almost a year with T’Challa in it. He then had to continue on with the loss of Boseman in the version audiences will be seeing when the film is released this week in theaters. Producer Nate Moore shares some insight into the film’s emotional impact on the different characters including Namor and his Talokan homeworld.

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Tenoch Huerta as Namor. Photo by Eli Adé/Marvel

“But we had such a collection of talent and such a collection of characters, who all have a different point of view with that loss, that I think Ryan found ways to express all the different colors of grief through the ensemble,” Moore said during the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever press conference. “And that’s not just the Wakandans, by the way, who definitely feel it, but it’s the loss that Namor and the Talokan feel because of the loss of their homeland. So, I think Ryan was savvy enough as a filmmaker and storyteller to weave all those themes across the entirety of the film. Which is, I think, why hopefully the film will be powerful for people.”

Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) portrays Namor as a powerful antagonist for the people of Wakanda. As the leader of Talokan, he will do whatever is necessary to protect his people, even if it means attacking Wakanda. His story will parallel that of Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and the princess of Wakanda.

“So, now I have to play the bad guy who destroys, or tries to destroy that legacy,” Huerta said. “But at the same time, I think Ryan found a way to make it human, to justify why people do that kind of thing. So, it doesn’t mean that is okay or not – that it’s right or not – but it explains. Maybe it’s not an excuse, but it’s a reason. It’s an explanation of why things happen, why the people choose different reactions in front of grief. And that’s beautiful because it’s human. So, we have these two characters, taking different decisions with the grief and the threat.”

About Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In the film, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of Talokan, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11, 2022.

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