Duke spoke to ScreenRant about the history of Marvel villains.
The sequel to Marvel’s Black Panther won’t hit theaters anytime soon, but that hasn’t stopped cast members from speculating on it. Winston Duke, who played M’Baku in the 2018 film recently spoke about his character’s potential alignment with Screen Rant.
Duke acknowledged his character’s potential to be the next in line of great Marvel villains. His reasoning? The common thread of self-determination.
“[M’Baku] is a hero,” Duke said, “but he’s got so much going on. I think what makes a really great villain is that they have the power of seeing things their own way, and they can define their own circumstances.”
Duke’s character began Black Panther as an antagonist to Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. However, by the end of the movie–and also in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame–he fought alongside T’Challa. Duke believes this autonomy would make for a great villain. He listed examples from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“That’s what’s really cool about the MCU villains so far,” he said. “Loki always sees things his own way, and he chooses when he’s going to be an ally or an antagonist. Thanos always had the power of self-definition. That’s his greatest strength. It wasn’t the rings, it wasn’t his superpower or the fighting. It’s that he made his mind up and said, “This is how I define justice.” Because he wasn’t a bad guy; he’s just a dude who was seeking ultimate justice and balance. That’s not bad. But he defined it himself, and all the really great villains that Marvel interrogates always have that ability, so they can go anywhere.”
Marvel announced the Black Panther sequel will hit theaters on May 6, 2022.