Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has provided an update on the "complicated" situation surrounding the movie rights to Namor the Sub-Mariner. The character is someone fans have been wanting to see for years, but has been off-limits due to the fact that the hero's rights are tied up at Universal.
Years ago, the rights to a Namor movie were sold to Universal, along with several other characters. The rights to most of these characters have since reverted back to Marvel, but the Sub-Mariner remains in limbo. Marvel Studios has addressed the Namor situation a number of times, and Joe Quesada once stated that he believed that Namor was finally back at Marvel Studios. However, despite various rumors, there have been no announcements of any plans to bring The Avenging Son into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In an interview with IGN, Feige was asked about the current status of Namor and if the situation was "complicated":
It is. I think there’s a way to probably figure it out but it does have — it’s not as a clean or clear as the majority of the other characters.
These comments suggest that unlike Nova and Moon Knight, Namor may not be part of Marvel's plans for the immediate future. We've been told at different points in the past that the rights to Namor currently belong to Marvel Studios, but there seems to be much more to it than that. It's hard to say what the specifics are or how much longer it will take for the rights issues with Universal to be resolved.
If getting the Sub-Mariner into the MCU is a priority, Marvel Studios may try to make more progress in getting the character's rights back. Considering Namor's rich history in the Marvel Universe, the character seems like someone Marvel would definitely want to dive into, whether it be as a hero or as villain. A Namor the Sub-Mariner film would certainly be unique to the MCU, as he could be the studio's first anti-hero to headline his own film. The film could also introduce Atlantis, an important corner of the Marvel Universe that has yet to be explored onscreen.
A Namor project was once rumored to be filming in Hawaii, though it's safe to assume now that this wasn't true, as there have been no developments since. Last month, fans believed that Feige was referring to Namor when he revealed that not all Marvel characters have "come home", and it sounds like he may well have been. Of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, it does appear to be true that Namor's situation is the most complicated. Many fans feel that Marvel's oldest superhero has been due an appearance in the MCU for quite some time.