Sub-Mariner Movie Still Swimming Our Way?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:56 am,

namor Sub Mariner Movie Still Swimming Our Way?

Collider‘s Steve “Frosty” Weintraub recently caught up with director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3, Surrogates) and talked to him about his progress with the long-rumored big-screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics character Prince Namor, also known as The Sub-Mariner.

Mostow wouldn’t say much on camera, however Weintraub (being the good ol’ nosy journalist he should be) managed to get some semi-solid info out of the director about where the Sub-Mariner project is, and where he hopes it will be going.

Namor has been labeled Marvel’s “first and mightiest mutant,” yet a film adaptation of the undersea superhero has never gotten off the ground. There was a brief animated Sub-Mariner TV series in the 60s, but who really remembers that?

It’s probably for this same reason that Marvel sold off the cinematic rights to the character to Universal, which now excludes Namor from any of The Avengers cross-over films being done over at Marvel Studios. But hey, since comic book films are still making bank, Universal is keeping The Sub-Mariner in development…for now.

Back to Mostow: The director told Weintraub that the biggest hangup facing the film right now is hammering out a quality script. Mostow seemed genuinely earnest in his insistence that a good script has to be in place before a Sub-Mariner film moves ahead any further (which is a smart move, otherwise you end up with Ghost Rider).

For the full interview with Mostow, be sure to jump on over to Collider.

When I think about the character of Prince Namor, I’m not surprised to see these filmmakers facing the same kind of scripting difficulties that have prevented say, DC Comics, from getting an Aquaman movie into theaters. Think about:

  • Neither character is all THAT popular amongst the general public.
  • Filming a lot of underwater action sequences would cost big bucks (see: Waterworld).
  • Neither Aquaman nor Namor have any popular villains in their rogue’s gallery that could carry a movie.

Those are three big hurdles for any movie to try to jump.

In Namor’s defense, there are some aspects to his character that would make him (at least for me) a slightly better bet than Aquaman:

  1. Namor’s status as a mutant.  Born of a human sea captain and an Atlantian princess, Namor is credited as being “the first mutant” in the Marvel Universe and that trait could make for a compelling origin story about Namor trying to find himself as a “hero,” as well as his place amongst the surface and undersea worlds (both of which could offer their own unique conflicts and challenges).
  2. Namor’s attitude and personality. Unlike Aquaman (whose comic book incarnations have oscillated between campy-cheesy and boring-brooding), Namor’s grand arrogance and kick-your-ass attitude have always made him a standout in the comics. No matter what kind of team-up or collaborative effort Namor has been a part of, he’s always managed to steal a lot of scenes while delivering some of the best lines of any Marvel hero (dare I say it? “Imperius Rex!”).

namor atlantis attack Sub Mariner Movie Still Swimming Our Way?

If I were writing this Sub-Mariner script (and I should be), I would go with Namor as a villain-cum-hero. Check it: He’s born in Atlantis; erroneously thinks humans killed his parents (loosely based on the actual comics); trains for years as a regal warrior (albeit an outsider) bent on revenge against the surface world; ventures out to said surface world (NYC) when he comes of age, to determine “its weakness and vulnerabilities”; meets a human love interest and/or other heroes; cue a sub-plot about a jealous Atlantian general and/or would-be princess, who cut a deal with a human villain to overthrow the “half-breed prince” Namor; climax with a grand war/maritime  sequence involving Atlantis invading the Eastern Seaboard; end with Namor learning hard lessons and becoming a hero/protector of BOTH worlds. THE END.

See Universal, not so hard. I really got to stop giving away these ideas for free.

What do you think about a Sub-Mariner movie – interested in seeing Namor on the big screen? Or is this film a washout for you?

Source: Collider

Namor Image source at top: (the late-great) Michael Turner

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  1. Yeah, Namor has a far better chance of having a better movie than ol’ Aquaman. I’m actually surprised Marvel sold the rights to him.

    • I think a movie about Namor would be huge. I have been waiting for this character to be put on the big screen for years. C’mon, let get it done.

    • Namor the Sub-Mariner is just one of many Marvel characters that we as fans have been waiting for. I for one appreciate the time that it takes to bring something good to the screen but when you have to choose…where is Marvel getting there demographics from? I’ve never seen a means to vote on what I’d like to see. They have executive boards, public relations experts, and creative working groups that deal with these types of issues…I guess, but who’s posting surveys on what the fans would like to see?

      Looks as see it they had great hits with the classics…so why mess with success!? Stay with what works: Fantastic Four (remake), Dr Strange, Submariner, Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, etc. They have decades of story lines to work with, …and the crowd goes wild!! Marvel please don’t slack off now…we’ve been waiting for far too long.

  2. I think Namor or Aquaman would make for a good movie. I really liked the dropped tv pilot for Aquaman starring Justin Hartley, I think it could have been a popular show. Namor would have the same chance if someone was willing to give it a chance. I don’t actually know any of Namor’s villains and in my opinion he’s much more obscure than Aquaman, but I think BlackManta, modernized of course, would make a great villain for Aquaman. I would watch a Namor movie just because I love superhero movies and I love underwater movies. Two of my favorite things. They should definately go forward with a movie for both aqua-heroes. Oh and Ghost Rider was a good movie…I LIKED IT.

    • Ghost Rider WAS a (very) good movie. As was the video game. But the second film however (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) was not :( Nicholas Cage was good as Ghost Rider/ Johnny Blaze though…

  3. Sounds like it’d be a whale of a movie!

    Heh heh…..


  4. There are just way too many comics that don’t really deserve to become big budget movies(Ghost Rider,Jonah Hex,aren’t they even making a Nomad movie?.This is one of them.With all of the other comic characters that are way more popular than Sub-Mariner,that they couldn’t make into good movies,why would anyone think that they could/would for this?

    Just do what DC does and make it a cartoon and be done with it.Sure they probably won’t make as much money,but there will be a lot less embarrassment,and that would be better for them in the long run,because the more crap they churn out,sooner or later people are gonna start not going to see it.

  5. I agree with the other posters… I don’t feel all that strongly about the Sub-Mariner. And I doubt anyone but hard core comic readers know much about him (I don’t know any of his villains either).

    I’m afraid the only way this could work is to make it with a more independent feel. If you go big budget I just don’t think you will get a big enough draw to compensate for the budget. And working underwater may be too expensive.

    My final verdict:
    Either make a movie with amazing visual effects (and there are some amazing creatures living deep under water).

    Or have a great story that will actually market itself through word of mouth (not really a comic book movie forte).

    But I don’t see either of these things happening.

  6. @Longshanks… Keep in mind that the “Blade” franchise was inspired by a rather obscure comic book character. In many ways, the obscure heroes have a better chance of making it on film. While it might not have a built-in audience that is huge, it still has one. Also, the obscurity of the character allows for a little more leeway with the character and overall reality.

    What probably works against Namor in my argument is the point Giraffehead makes: it would need to be a big budget film. Blade worked because it was very real-world based. A successful Namor film would require lots of underwater fight scenes and CGI.

    Mostow is thinking right. This movie will require a hell of a script, because it would need to draw in a ton of people at the box office to even break even.

    As for villains, the Sub-Mariner does have a few that might work. The villain that makes the most sense to me is Attuma. Attuma would offer a warrior/ruler who has challenged (sometimes successfuly) Namor’s rule of Atlantis.

  7. @Bill Blume

    Blade worked because it was a very easy story to adapt revolving around the vampire genre,which always seems to be a draw.

    I think the average person will think,”Namor,a guy who live under water.Why do I care?”,and I tend to agree.

    I kinda think Namor is kinda on the fringe of obscurity,and I think that’s a very precarious place to be.I would think that if you said the name Sub-Mariner,people would know who you are talking about,but if you asked them to give you some back story on him,they would just scratch their heads.

    Personally,I just don’t find the character interesting enough to do a movie of.What power does he have that would wow people in the theaters,that we haven’t already seen?Sorry,unless they get some big name to play Namor(I heard a rumor quite some time ago that The Rock was up for it),I just don’t see the interest being that high for this movie.

    If they were smart,they would start developing t.v. shows for these lower tier characters.I think you could get much more out of them than a two hour movie.I would watch Namor t.v. show,and if it was good,I would keep watching it.

  8. Just have him fight Nitro, make it after Nitro kills Namora in the Civil War, give some background on Namor and so you dont need a coming of age story, and a fight scene between Namor and Nitro would be hardcore

  9. No offence to D.C !! Sorry Prince Namor Brute Strength is the 2nd Strongest under The Hulk !!!!!! Wonder Man Simon when Namor was fighting Attuma who is a Notorius Enemy of many Marvel Heroes!!!!! He was tricked and temporarily knocked Unconscious by Wonder Man due to Attumas Treachery!!!!! I know the kids will enjoy Prince Namor anyday over Aquaman !!!!! No Comparison!!!!!! Marvel in a very short time will rule the Box Office!!! Disney was brilliant coming on Board !!!!!! Go Stan Lee the Man!!!!!!!

  10. Namor was the first marvel superhero/anti-hero (Timely comics-at the time) and was the one who threw Captain America (on ice) into the sea…If Marvel/Disney got the rights back to this great character then he could have been introduced at the end of Captain America movie during WW2 fighting the Nazis…Is that not a superhero? Then he could be involved with the Avengers storyline like the Hulk…what does aquaman fight?…Jellyfish? If the Fantastic Four still were having films made he could be introduced in any number of exciting ways…like the Silver Surfer…See my problem is that fanboys cry no matter what movie is made, and that takes some of the fun out of the whole thing…Did anyone have a problem with Marlon Brando wearing a big “S” on his shirt in Superman 1 when his name was Jor-ell, from Krypton or even Superman’s costume having the same “S” many years later? No…and who do you think Spock stole his ears from?

    • I absolutely agree. A Namor story should have a WWII/Capt. America connection. Maybe they can even do some flash back WWII scenes or even have it set back then. As for his place in the Marvel universe – Namor was the first Marvel super hero (anti-hero), goes back to 1939 I believe. He attacked New York, he fought the original Human Torch. The Golden Age stories would be great to draw on.

  11. Rambled a little before,let me clarify a few things…the Namor movie needs to be made for several reasons; 1. He’s the start of it all, 2.He’s the first mutant, 3. He comes from Atlantis (is there a better potential visual homeland of any other hero?)4.CG have enhanced so many superhero movies, is it not a logical step to produce a great underwater movie before DC does something with lameass Aquaman?, and finally, 5. He’s conflicted, misunderstood, and ultra powerful…just dress him in the speedo when he’s young and in the navy blue wet suit when he’s the ruler of Atlantis.

  12. Namor is one of my all time favorite characters in the marvel universe! I’ve been waiting with baited breath for a Sub Mariner movie announcement! Bring it on Universal

  13. Randy Orton would make an exellent Namor