Wakanda could be facing a lot more trouble now that the evil Man-Ape will be joining the Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman as the title character.
According to new reports, Person of Interest star Winston Duke will play the key role of M’Baku “” aka Man-Ape, a frequent villain to Black Panther. He will be joining the growing list of villains who set on seeing T’Challa fall from his throne. More on the story below.
Variety says Duke beat out several other actors for the key role, including The Get Down actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. M’Baku is one of Black Panther’s adversaries and has tried to usurp the hero from his mantle many times before in the comics. But it is not clear if he will align himself with the film’s other antagonist Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
In the comics, M’Baku is considered to be one of the greatest warriors in Wakanda, second only to that of Black Panther. He was a part of the White Ape Cult, whose belief is to bring the nation back to its primitive state. His powers and abilities include superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, and durability thanks in part to bathing in white gorilla blood and eating white gorilla flesh, hence the name Man-Ape.
Plot details have not been revealed yet, but early descriptions revealed by the cast have said Wakanda is threatened when two villains align together to take the throne away from Black Panther, who inherited it after his father was killed by Zemo in Captain America: Civil War. At the time Killmonger was one of the villains, now it looks like Man-Ape will be the other. Which makes some sense since Man-Ape wouldn’t just be a henchman. However, it is still not clear if Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) will make an appearance. The Vibranium dealer has not been seen since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, when he got his arm taken off by the cybernetic baddie. Other possible characters that could possibly make an appearance are Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and a frozen Bucky (Sebastian Stan).
As for Duke, the actor is best known for having several recurring roles on televisions shows like Major Crimes, The Messengers, and Person of Interest.
Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o also star. Joe Robert Cole co-wrote the script with Coogler. Black Panther is scheduled to open in theaters on February 16, 2018