'Black Panther' Adds Winston Duke To Play Villain Man-Ape
As we get ready to watch the highly anticipated premiere of Luke Cage tomorrow (Friday), let’s not forget that Marvel is also working on a big screen feature film for another black superhero — Black Panther.
In a report from Deadline actor Winston Duke has joined the cast of Black Panther to portray villain M’Baku, otherwise known as Man-Ape. Duke is best known for playing Dominic on Person of Interest, and was recently seen on Major Crimes and The Messengers.
Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, Man-Ape/M’Baku debuted in Avengers #62 in 1969. Once one of the greatest soldiers serving Wakanda – the fictional, hyper advanced African nation ruled by Black Panther – M’Baku joined the outlawed White Gorilla cult, gaining superpowers that he used to try and take over the kingdom for himself with. Since then, he’s been presented as possibly Black Panther’s biggest nemesis aside from Ulysses Klaw (played by Andy Serkis in Avengers: Age of Ultron).
It’ll be interesting to see how Duke is used in the film, considering that a number of actors are already signed on to portray villains. Michael B. Jordan was previously announced as Erik Killmonger, and Serkis confirmed that he’ll be reprising his role as Klaw.
So, where might that leave Duke? Although M’Baku does ultimately become a villain and antagonist for Black Panther, he originally serves as a Wakkandan soldier. So maybe we’ll see that transition occur within the film, especially considering Killmonger is an interesting antagonist in his own right.
Throughout the Black Panther comic book series Killmonger is infamous for coming back to life in hopes of defeating the titular superhero, and also has his own backstory with Klaw.
Along with Serkis and Jordan, Black Panther features Chadwick Boseman in the title role alongside Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. Ryan Coogler is directing and co-writing the script with Joe Robert Cole, with the film expected to drop on February 16, 2018.