One of Marvel’s most anticipated upcoming solo films is Black Panther. After actor Chadwick Boseman had his introductory role as the titular character in Captain America: Civil War, fans have been eagerly waiting for his solo film. With director Ryan Coogler taking the reins of the film after last year’s Rocky spinoff Creed, it looks like this film is the one to watch. The film already has a very impressive cast which includes Boseman as T’Challa, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira as members of Black Panther’s elite royal guard the Dora Milaje, and Michael B. Jordan as Black Panther’s nemesis Erik Killmonger. It looks like the film has a new person joining the cast.
It has just been reported that actor Winston Duke has been cast to play M’Baku in the upcoming film. Comic book fans know M’Baku was a part of the White Gorilla cult and was one of Black Panther’s biggest enemies Man-Ape. Man-Ape and Black Panther have always clashed over which way of life would rule Wakanda: tribal tradition versus technological revitalization. The two continued to clash and do battle each other for control of Wakanda over the years in the comics.
Actor Winston Duke is best known for his work on Person of Interest as Dominic, leader of the “Brotherhood.” During his arc of the show, he led an organized crime group that almost took over all organized crime in New York City on the show. Duke is known primarily for his roles on television including shows like Person of Interest, The Messengers, and Law and Order: SVU. This will be Duke’s first film role and is set to increase his star power for being in such a large profile film.
Given the look of Man-Ape, the filmmakers will have to toe a very delicate line in bringing his character to the big screen. Some believe that Man-Ape has negative connotations, as he is a man dressed in a giant gorilla costume and can be interpreted as stereotypical images of black/African culture. However, given that this film has a 90% Black/African cast, and it was written by an African-American screenwriter as directed by an African-American, they most certainly will be conscious of the images they present.