Going from a well-run television show to a superhero Marvel franchise with billions of dollars on the line is a big step up. And this is something Winston Duke is currently contemplating. Variety reports that the actor has been "tapped up" for the big leagues. Duke is currently in talks to be cast as M'Baku (Man-Ape) for the Marvel cinematic universe.
The stand-alone Black Panther film won't be hitting cinemas until February 2018, but Marvel being Marvel means all the fine details must be wrapped up ahead of schedule. The studio is a stickler on churning out pictures in a timely sequence.
The audience got a taste of Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of the superhero in Captain America: Civil War, yet this installment will put him front and center.
Duke Scoring A Huge Break Early In His Career
Every great Hollywood identity has to start somewhere. For Winston Duke, that was the Yale School of Drama where he recently graduated. From that point forward he managed to secure roles in Major Crimes, The Messengers and Person of Interest. The actor was quickly at home on the small screen.
But his future could be brighter than just the confines of network television. Winston Duke reportedly getting the nod for M'Baku ahead of The Get Down star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the rehearsal process. There are a litany of highly qualified African-American actors desperate to get an opportunity like this. And, if Variety is to be believed, then Duke has the chance of a lifetime.
Background on M'Baku/Man-Ape Character
It appears that Duke will have to get comfortable living outside his own skin. Quite literally! The M'Baku/Man-Ape character is a rival and enemy of T’Challa AKA Black Panther. He is also one of the most powerful and menacing warriors in the African nation of Wakanda. After the death of his father, T’Challa takes over the mantle as Wakanda leader. M'Baku steps in as a central protagonist to scupper those plans.
Wearing the skin of a large white ape and sporting a giant spear, Duke will have to embrace his inner villain to translate the terror from the comic books to the big screen. It will be no mean feat!