“Avengers: Endgame” has been billed as the definitive ending to the first 22 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started over a decade ago with 2008’s “Iron Man.” While the blockbuster is mostly concerned with bringing Iron Man and Captain America’s stories to a close, a new theory online suggests the film also subtly kickstarts the next phase of Marvel movies. One potential easter egg in “Endgame” confirms the aquatic character Namor the Sub-Mariner is heading to the MCU in the future and is already causing some trouble.
Early on in the movie after the film jumps ahead in time five years, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is seen chatting via hologram with various other Avengers about potential threats to humankind happening throughout the world. Okoye (Danai Gurira) tells Black Widow there are sub-oceanic earthquakes occurring off the coast of Africa. Black Widow asks if the earthquakes needs to be handled, but Okoye says there’s simply nothing that can be done about tectonic shifts.
The Black Widow/Okoye chat is incredibly brief and seemingly unimportant, but that’s not how Marvel fans are seeing it. As Collider’s Dave Trumbore and others have noted, the earthquakes off the coast of Wakanda could signal Namor’s upcoming introduction into the MCU. “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson fueled rumors about Namor’s introduction earlier this year when he posted on social media a 2011 comic book cover featuring Doctor Strange and Namor. The caption to the post read, “Are you Experienced?” After Derrickson deleted the image, many fans took that as a tease Namor could pop up in “Doctor Strange 2.”
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Following the Black Widow/Okoye moment in “Endgame,” it appears Namor might be involved with “Black Panther 2.” Trumbore notes that leaders of Wakanda and Atlantis (where Namor rules) have clashed a number of times in the comic books. Namor has been portrayed as a superhero and a villain over the years, so it’s not entirely out of the question the character might go up against Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. That the “Endgame” script pays attention to underwater earthquakes off the coast of Wakanda has many believing Namor is on the way.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has long wanted Namor to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is another reason the potential “Endgame” easter egg is picking up traction with fans. The character is an underwater mutant similar to Aquaman. In an interview with IGN in April 2018, Feige said getting the rights to Namor was complicated as film rights to the character were originally owned by Universal Pictures. Getting Namor in the MCU means negotiating with the producers who still own the rights.
The situation mirrors the use of Bruce Banner/Hulk in the MCU. Marvel has yet to make a solo Hulk movie because Universal still holds first rights to the character. Universal released the Edward Norton-starring “The Incredible Hulk” before Marvel was bought by Disney. The current MCU features the Hulk, but it gets around the rights issue by only including him as a supporting character in non-solo Hulk films. Perhaps a similar deal has been reached between the two studios for Namor.
Another reason the Namor theory is gaining buzz is because the MCU has allegedly teased the character before, all the way back in “Iron Man 2.” In the movie’s penultimate scene, Iron Man meets with Nick Fury to talk about the Avengers and they are surrounded by holographic screens displaying areas of superhero-related interest around the world. One spot singled out the ocean off the coast of Brazil, which fans have long believed to be the MCU first highlighting the existence of the underwater city of Atlantis. That Atlantis would be in the south Atlantic Ocean positions it somewhere between Brazil and Africa, which checks out with the earthquakes mentioned in “Endgame.”
Whether or not Namor pops up in phase four of the MCU remains to be seen, but “Endgame” is certainly giving fans something to theorize about. “Endgame” is now playing in theaters nationwide.