Winston Duke To Play 'Black Panther' Villain Man-Ape

As expected, Chadwick Boseman will have more than one villain to square off against in Marvel's Black Panther. Already we know Michael B. Jordan will play his greatest rival, Erik Killmonger, and now another of T'Challa's foes, Man-Ape, has been cast.

Variety reports that Person of Interest actor Winston Duke has won the role of M'Baku aka Man-Ape. They describe it as a "key role", meaning he'll likely be teaming up with Killmonger to try and usurp power from Black Panther who rules the African nation of Wakanda. In fact, that's exactly what co-star Lupita Nyong'o said the plot would be some months ago, although at the time we didn't know who the two antagonists were. She is set to play Nakia, one of Panther's adored personal guard the Dora Milaje. The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira plays the other, known as Okoye. Duke apparently beat out a few others for the role, including The Get Down's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. I would have liked to have seen that.

Man-Ape always seemed like a possible addition to the story because he's such a physical threat, and this promises to be a film where Panther is tested as King and as a combatant. In the comics, Man-Ape was the second-greatest warrior in all of Wakanda only behind Black Panther. He joins the White Gorilla Cult and attempts to wrest control of Wakanda away, but is defeated. He gains his super-strength, speed, and endurance by consuming the flesh of a rare white gorilla and bathing in its blood. Y'know, the natural way.

So Black Panther remains the biggest and blackest Marvel movie ever, which is awesome. And with so many roles left to be filled expect more casting news to arrive. Martin Freeman's Everett K. Ross should also appear at some point, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a cameo by Andy Serkis as villain Ulysses Klaw. There are also rumors Sebastian Stan could bring Winter Soldier into the mix. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther opens February 16th 2018.