On November 11th the cinematic universe will be properly introduced to the supernatural leader Namor aka “Quetzal-feathered Serpent,” the mighty ruler of Talokan, an advanced underwater civilization descended from an ancient Mayan community. They must dramatically change themselves to survive in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler.
In truth, the war won’t be won if the African citizens of Wakanda go to war with the blue-hued citizens of the underwater kingdom of Talokan. The Black and Brown community should unite to focus on their common enemy —the white nations of the world, who are trying to do everything in their power to steal their advanced technology.
The largest question loom: Will Queen Raonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje 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) to forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.
Introducing the Namor mentioned above (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), ruler of a hidden undersea nation, and his warriors Attuma (Alex Livinalli) and Namor (Mable Cadena).
ALEX LIVINALLI (Attuma)
A supernatural, hybrid being of enormous power and purpose, Namor can fly, breathe underwater and in high altitudes and walk on land. His strength is otherworldly, and when submerged in water, he’s unstoppable. This character is inspired by Mesoamerican cultures, specifically from the Yucatan and the Mayan post-classic period. In the Mexican culture, Quetzalcóatl (pronounced Keh-tzal-coh-WAH-tul), Kukulcán, The Feathered Serpent, is related to gods of the wind and one of the important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca, and Huitzilopochtli. During the Postclassic period (900–1521 CE), many nations —including the Maya, Toltecs, Aztecs, and other polities in Central Mexico—all practiced a version of the worship around Quetzalcoatl.
Costume designer Ruth Carter and her team embraced the Mesoamerican inspiration for the Talokanil, working with historians to infuse the looks with authenticity. But, by definition, the world depicted in the film is a departure from anything that might exist in historical Mayan culture. “The subculture has lived underwater for hundreds of years, giving us more latitude,” shared Carter, who consulted with marine experts to incorporate deep-sea elements into the Talokanil looks. “Namor’s costumes reflect the tradition he honors and his position as king. We used a lot of kelp to make his headdress and hand-woven cape. We added shells and beads—his look gives you a sense that he has traveled through time.
Here’s what Alex Livinalli (Attum) and Mable Cadena (Namor) shared about being mighty Talokanil warriors.
ALEX LIVINALLI (Attuma)
Attuma is his nation’s strongest warrior with unbelievable skills, speed, and strength which is as powerful as Wakanda’s Dora Milaje’s general Okoye and equally as charismatic.
On Joining the MC Universe
‘Black Panther itself is such a symbol not only for the African American community but for me being Hispanic—I see it as a symbol of hope, and in researching this character as represented in the comic books, I discovered that he’s an evil man. However, after meeting with Ryan [Coogler] he made it clear that he was doing something different, shaping my character differently.
I read the script and saw his relationship with Namor (TENOCH HUERTA MEJÍA) and Namora (Mabel Cadena). Yes, he is a fighter. But the way I see him, he’s just a very lovable person. He loves his people, Namor, Namora, and his way of life—he’s kind of like a father protecting his family. That’s who Attuma is. If you compromise our way of life, you’ll see how much I love fighting.
MABLE CADENA (Namor)
Namora is an effective and fierce Talokanil warrior determined to protect her people’s land under the sea. The character is more than just a strong woman and a capable warrior. She can be different things. Namor and Namora have this relationship: father and daughter. So, she’s ready to protect Namor and his people and fight them to the death.
The kingdom of Talokan is a breakaway, advanced civilization — Talokanil speaks Yucatec Mayan, which meant several cast members had to learn to talk about the language. Me, I had to learn English at the same time. That was an exciting challenge—it was tough to learn—I’d study English for an hour and [Yucatec] Mayan for an hour. We had a lot of time with our coach for pronunciation to memorize the lines and work on the script.
Living Under Water
I had to learn to hold my breath for a long time. I had a couple of acrobatics [lessons] to get a feel for my underwater movement. It was the most fantastic experience of my life because I loved it—I felt free working under the water, relaxed.
On entering the Black Panther Universe
This amazing experience changed my life. I now know that I can be a superhero. No knowing no, just the in the movie, I can be a superhero in my own story, change my narrative, because I never believed I would be working in a film like this. I had never stepped out of my country (Mexico).
On Latino repression on screen
Because of this movie, a Mexican woman, as a Latin American woman, with this face and colored skin, representing many women in Mexico in and around the Latin American world, can see themselves. It’s amazing. I feel very proud. I felt a lot of emotion when I heard when I watched for the first time as a movie, you know, is like, oh my god, I’m Mexican and Latin American. And I’m a superhero. My culture represents that. And I can hear, for the first time, an indigenous language as the Mayan. And this is huge, meaning many things for us for every story around us.