Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther 2, dubbed Wakanda Forever, remains in shambles after the tragic loss of star Chadwick Boseman. His passing threw the sequel’s story into question, given the word that T’challa won’t be recast for the upcoming movie, potentially leaving a massive gap in the narrative. However, new rumors suggest that Atlanta, where Black Panther 2 is currently filming, might become Atlantis, as the cast found another Atlantean Warrior – Namora.
According to Murphy’s Multiverse, Marvel Studios cast Mabel Cadena as Namora, the cousin of Tenoch Huerta’s Namor the Sub-Mariner, and a major Atlantean warrior character from the comics. The 30-year old Mexican actress fulfills all the criteria for the role of Namora, set by the MCU. In addition, Marvel Studios was looking for a Hispanic or Latino actress, age 20-40, with experience in physical roles. And while no further details regarding the casting have been revealed, it’s worth pointing out that the actress was seen in the Atlanta area – a filming location for Black Panther 2.
Cadena is currently posting Instagram photos of herself in Atlanta, some of which were taken in the gym. Perhaps she’s preparing for a physical role in Black Panther 2? Tenoch Huerta, who portrays Namor, also began interacting with Cadena on Instagram, which only adds fuel to the rumor-mill machine. But, again, there’s no official confirmation from any official sources, so this information should be ingested with a grain of salt, regardless of the abundance of supportive evidence. With that said, the arrival of Atlantis and Namor has been rumored for years now, after Avengers: Endgame featured a Wakandan warrior mentioning an underwater earthquake.
Given the sheer amount of evidence that could be treated as circumstantial, it’s quite possible that Atlantis might rise from the depths in Black Panther 2, which is apparently adopting the Marvel comics storyline. In the comics, King Namor of Atlantis flooded Wakanda, sparking a war between two kingdoms with a shared history. Both civilizations are technologically advanced, with incredible militaristic capabilities, that decided to erect a wall, so to speak, and separate themselves from the rest of the world. Where Wakandans feared that their technology might be abused, Atlanteans believed that surface-dwellers would desecrate the legendary city.
The retelling of that particular storyline on the silver screen still remains uncertain, as Marvel Studios keeps everything under wraps, including Black Panther 2’s plot and how the studio plans to address the absence of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. Namora, also known as Aquaria Nautica Neptunia, made her debut in 1947’s Marvel Mystery Comics #82 as a mighty warrior of super-human strength, speed, and flight. She’s also a long-serving member of Jimmy Woo’s Agent of Atlantis, a fictional superhero team appearing in various comic books published by Marvel.
Mabel Cadena, who is allegedly portraying Namora in Black Panther 2, made a name for herself on Spanish-language dramas like Netflix’s Ingobernable and Monarcha and Amazon Prime’s Hernan. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and possibly Mabel Cadena’s MCU debut, is expected to arrive in theaters on July 8, 2022.