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Just because T'Challa will be back home in Wakanda during Black Panther doesn't mean he won't be plagued by threats. This past summer at San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Creed star Michael B. Jordan would appear as Erik Killmonger, one of Black Panther's oldest adversaries. However, now there's word that a second villain has been added to the mix, who will be played by Person of Interest actor Winston Duke.
Variety is reporting that Duke has been cast as M'Baku, better known as Man-Ape, in Black Panther. No details were provided about this version of the character, but if he's anything like his comic book counterpart, he'll be quite a powerhouse. Black Panther will be Duke's first film role, as his acting credits until now have been on television. His notable appearances include a recurring stint as Dominic in Person of Interest, as well as guest spots on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Major Crimes.
In the comics, M'Baku was a powerful Wakandan warrior who wanted to usurp the throne with the help of the outlaw White Gorilla Cult. He gained his powers (including super strength, speed, agility, stamina, the usual stuff) when killed one of the namesake animals and both ate it and bathed in its blood. Now calling himself Man-Ape, he returned to Wakanda to challenge Black Panther, determined to move Wakanda way from technology and back to its primitive state. Unfortunately for Man-Ape, he was defeated in battle by the Wakandan king and thought to be dead for a while. However, as is the case with many comic book baddies, he eventually resurfaced and has been a recurring thorn in Black Panther's side since. On occasion, he has also joined forces with several super villain teams, like the Lethal Legion and Masters of Evil. Man-Ape's other media appearances include Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Lego Marvel's Avengers.
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, which ended with T'Challa capturing his father's killer (Helmut Zemo) and providing Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes asylum in Wakanda, Black Panther will follow the young king as he learns the ropes of ruling over a nation. Having two villains attacking him certainly isn't going to help matters, though it will be interesting to see whether Man-Ape ends up being Erik Killomonger's main muscle or if they will be partners in the effort to eliminate T'Challa. Along with Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and now reportedly Winston Duke, the movie's cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia and Danai Gurira as Okoye, both members of the Dora Milaje.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, who also co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther slashes it ways into theaters on February 16, 2018.