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One Fan-Favorite Black Panther Character Will Reportedly Have A Larger Role In Wakanda Forever

Winston Duke as M'Baku in Black Panther
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has faced an uphill battle since the death of Chadwick Boseman. Production delays and on-set injuries have plagued the sequel. With rumors still swirling over Letitia Wright’s status within Wakanda Forever, another fan-favorite character will reportedly have a larger role in the upcoming sequel.

According to THR, sources close to Marvel claimed Winston Duke’s fierce Jabari Tribe leader M’Baku will play a significant role in Wakanda Forever. The character will reportedly become a major part of the franchise. The move was allegedly a response to Duke getting a significant pay raise to take on the vigilant warrior once more. Of course, it hasn’t been confirmed how expansive his role in the sequel will be.

Much like Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, the Us star’s M’Baku became a standout when Black Panther arrived in theaters. The Jabari leader was the antithesis of global-minded T’Challa as he almost bested the prince of Wakanda in their battle for the mantle. He came off as aloof, stubborn, and very narrow-minded. But his character spoke to audiences with his secret alliance with Boseman’s T’Challa. The character’s popularity made him a fan-favorite amongst Marvel fans as well as an imaginary boyfriend for millions.  Winston Duke’s star power has increased since his breakout role as evident by his work for the sequel.

The expansion of M’Baku in Wakanda Forever may hint at ways the film will deal with Chadwick Boseman’s absence. It appeared not recasting T’Challa has opened the door for more Wakanda stalwarts to step up. Along with Winston Duke’s bigger role, it’s been alleged that Letitia Wright might take over the Black Panther mantle. Her on-set injury did call that status into question, but THR hinted that the Death on the Nile star is allegedly the sequel’s lead. Boseman’s passing led to an expansion amongst the Wakanda Forever cast. It’ll be interesting to see how Shuri and M’Baku step up considering the extraordinary circumstances.

Wright and Duke’s status in the sequel may be concealed. But the void left by the Da 5 Bloods star’s death allowed more characters to come on board. Dominque Thorne’s Riri Williams will make her MCU debut in the film with Michaela Coel and What If…?’s Lake Bell reportedly appearing in undisclosed roles. It remains unclear how the sequel will address the lack of T’Challa.

Everything appears to be on track again as Letitia Wright has returned to the Wakanda Forever set. With Shuri also taking on a bigger role, it appeared the actress is well enough after recovering from her serious injuries. Along with Wright and Winston Duke returning, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira will be in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as well.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will arrive in theaters on Nov. 17.

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