The Black Panther side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and cinema in general, was dealt a heavy blow last year when Chadwick Boseman passed away at age 43. As such, plans for Black Panther 2, now officially known as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, needed to change, but the sequel will still boast plenty of familiar faces. The latest of this lineup to be confirmed is Winston Duke, who will be back as M’Baku.
Winston Duke revealed that he’ll be taking part in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever while talking about his new movie Nine Days with Collider. The sequel began shooting in late June, and here’s what Duke had to say about reuniting with his Black Panther costars:
It was very emotional to read the script. It was emotional to pack to go back to set. But we're all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we're making something really special.
Debuting in Black Panther as the leader of Wakanda’s Mountain Tribe, a.k.a. the Jabari, Winston Duke’s M’Baku was among the 2018 superhero movie’s most praised aspects. M’Baku was initially depicted in an antagonistic light, as he challenged Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa for the Wakanda crown in ritual combat. However, after Erik Killmonger entered the picture, M’Baku proved to be a key ally in helping T’Challa defeat the villain’s forces and seize the Wakandan throne back. A few months after Black Panther’s release, Duke reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War, and the following year, he briefly popped up in Avengers: Endgame.
Now we’ll see the next chapter of M’Baku’s MCU journey unfold in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, although understandably, Winston Duke did not disclose any details about the movie’s plot or what we can expect from his character. Sadly, one thing we do know going in is that we won’t see M’Baku and T’Challa’s relationship develop further. Last December, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that T’Challa will not be recast, and visual effects will not be used to recreate the character either. There’s no word yet on how T’Challa’s absence will be addressed.
Along with Winston Duke, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s returning actors include Letitia Wright as Shuri (who will have a larger role in the sequel), Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Dani Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross and Angela Bassett as Ramonda. Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta has also joined the cast, and a rumor floated around last month that he’ll be playing Namor the Sub-Mariner, which has in no way been confirmed. As with the first Black Panther movie, Ryan Coogler is directing Wakanda Forever and co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole.
While we count down to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s July 8, 2022 release date and wait for more updates on its progress, learn what else the MCU is sending to the big screen with our upcoming Marvel movies guide.