Marvel Studios reportedly had its eye on WWE Superstar Damian Priest for Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
in a report of fighting team, the producers of the hit Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel had approached Priest for “a major role.” With no prior acting experience beyond wrestling, Priest is believed to have been asked to read at least two roles which included the king of Talokan and an unknown member of the underwater civilization; It is unknown if Priest had officially auditioned for any of the roles. The role of Namor eventually went to actor Tenoch Huerta.
His real name is Luis Martinez, the future WWE superstar trained in the ring in Monster Factory Pro Wrestling before signing with Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2015. Billed as “Punisher Martinez,” he made a name for himself by defeating Silas Young for the ROH World Television Championship in 2018. That same year, Martinez left ROH after his contract expired and signed with WWE as part of the NXT brand.
From 2018 to 2021, Martinez, now billed as “Damian Priest,” adopted a rock star persona while engaging in feuds with future stars like Pete Dunne, Keith Lee, and Finn Balor. He won the NXT North American Championship in a ladder match at NXT TakeOver: XXX and then lost the belt to Johnny Gargano at Halloween Havoc 2020. Priest debuted on the main roster as a entrant at the 2021 Royal Rumble, teaming with the hip- hop. he starred as Bad Bunny for a tag team match at Wrestlemania 37, had a US Championship title run.
Priest wasn’t the only wrestling superstar being considered for the Sub-Mariner. Dwayne Johnson’s name was rumored to be linked to Namor when Universal was developing an indie film in the 2000s. The former WWE superstar turned movie icon finally set her sights on DC’s Black Adam. Also, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Brian Tee expressed his desire to play Namor, describing the character as his dream role.
In the end, it would be Narcos: Mexico star who would bring Namor to life on the big screen. It was an experience that Huerta found overwhelming. “I mean, everyone pretends to be a superhero or to be part of [these] movies, and then you’re a part of them, and then you’re the superhero, and then you’re wearing the costume,” Huerta explained. “And it’s your skin, your voice, your range, your talent, your story. I don’t know, it’s overwhelming.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in theaters now.
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