Interview: Nate Moore Talks ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, Namor’s Future In The MCU, Ironheart & More
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is here!
Leading up to the release, I had the chance to sit down with one of Marvel’s most important figures, Nate Moore. Moore is no stranger to Marvel projects, having produced films like Eternals and the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
With Wakanda Forever closing out Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Moore returns to Wakanda, having produced 2018’s Black Panther alongside writer and director Ryan Coogler.
Coming back for this film was a hard task for everyone involved. Moore stated that it was a “super ambitious film, for a lot of reasons,” including “dealing with the loss of both the person in Chadwick Boseman, the character of T’Challa.”
Introducing Namor and Talokan to the MCU was another ambitious thing Moore wanted to accomplish with Wakanda Forever. In reference to Namor and Talokan, Moore said, “Ryan has loved Namor for a long time. I think even at the end of the first movie, he was talking about ideas for this film. And then it was about what’s the best way to bring this character to the MCU. Obviously, he’s one of the foundational characters in Marvel publishing. And Ryan really wanted to anchor him and the mythology of his world into something that felt really real and grounded. Hopefully, in a way, that kind of feels real and grounded because of all the touchstones from continental Africa that we use to build that world. I think figuring out how to anchor a story in Mesoamerica and Mayan culture, both in the past in the present for us, made it feel more of a piece of this film and allowed for us to also showcase the beauty of the culture in all facets.”
Tenoch Huerta makes an incredible debut as Namor, so I asked Moore about his thoughts on more Marvel Studios content centred around Namor and Talokan. Moore said, “Certainly, this won’t be the last time you see Namor and Talokan. So, you know, we’ll see where you where you catch him next, but he [Huerta] is fantastic.”
In regard to the newcomers in the MCU’s Black Panther franchise, I expected Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams to have a smaller part that would help set up the Ironheart show in the works at Disney+ but was pleasantly surprised to see her have such an integral part to the overall film. In adding Riri Williams to the story, Moore said, “I think seeing Wakanda through the eyes of a young, brilliant black woman was a cool contrast to how Killmonger saw Wakanda and the expectations he had versus the expectation she had.”
Moore even compared Riri and Shuri’s relationship to a couple of other geniuses in the MCU. Moore told me, “I think there was a famous meme out of probably Age of Ultron science bros with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, but to see these two women who also loved science sort of team up and kind of figure out the solution to some problems we thought was really fun.”
After six years, Rihanna returned to music with “Lift Me Up,” written by Tems, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson, Ryan Coogler and Rihanna herself. Moore spoke about how the collaboration came to life and said, “Rihanna had seen the first trailer and was interested in sort of collaborating.” Without spoiling anything, the song placement hits hard, with Moore adding that the song “drives the movie forward.” Moore explained, “At the point in the movie where it was, I think you want to feel those emotions.”