Michael B. Jordan has already been cast as the lead villain Erik Killmonger in Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther, but he apparently won’t be the only baddie that Chadwick Boseman has to contend with.
Variety just broke the news that Person of Interest actor Winston Duke has been cast by Marvel Studios to play villain M’Baku, more widely known as Man-Ape. The role has been described as a “key role”, which seems to fit in with the synopsis we’ve been given by Lupita Nyong’o which states:
“Black Panther’s leadership has been threatened by two foes who come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the C.I.A. and the Dora Milaje to try and defeat the enemy.”
I think we all assumed Andy Serkis would return as Klaue, after getting his hand chopped off in Age of Ultron, and team up with Killmonger to take the Black Panther down, butit looks like that role will be taken by Man-Ape.
Man-Ape makes a lot of sense as a villain. He is one of T’Challa’s (AKA the Black Panther) fiercest and most well-known rivals, whose goal is to overthrow T’Challa’s rule. His plan fit’s in perfectly with Killmonger’s comic arc, so these two seem to be a natural fit.
This will be Duke’s first feature film, as he is fairly new to the acting world, whose previous roles consist of guest and reoccurring roles on TV various TV shows. However, it’s been noted that he beat out several actors for the role, including The Get Down‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, so it’s clear Marvel saw something it him.
Shooting for Ryan Coogler’s superhero film is expected to get underway in early 2017, with a release date set for February 16, 2018.