‘Black Panther’ Adds Another Villain to the Cast
Every good superhero needs a super-villain. Or two. Or if you’re making a Batman or Spider-Man sequel, like six. Marvel is slowly putting together its cast for Black Panther’s solo film, directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman as the Wakandan hero. They’ve already lined up Michael B. Jordan to play Erik Killmonger, who you know is a bad guy because his name is Erik Killmonger. And Lupita Nyong’o is playing Nakia, also known as the baddie Malice, who you know is a baddie because her name is Malice. But that’s not enough!
Variety reports that Marvel and Coogler are also adding Winston Duke to the cast in the role of M’Baku, whose nom de villain is Man-Ape. Marvel refused to comment, but Variety claims M’Baku will play a “key role” in the film. The character first appeared way back in Avengers #62 from 1969, and has sparred repeatedly with the Black Panther over the decades. He tried to seize control of the Panther’s home of Wakanda and apparently gained his powers and alias by “bathing in white gorilla blood and eating white gorilla flesh,” which is maybe the most heavy metal super-villain origin of all time.
Duke is a recent Yale graduate who’s made appearances on Major Crimes and Person of Interest. And now he will play the Man-Ape! I’m curious to see where he fits into a story that already features Malice and Killmonger (and could also feature Klaw, a perennial Panther foe who appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, as played by Andy Serkis). Who is the main villain? Who’s the henchman? Who just shows up to tease future appearances? We’ll see when Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16, 2018.