Marvel’s iconic Black Panther film introduced us to some of our now-favorite characters including Shuri, Okoye, and M’Baku. It opened doors for many of the actors and actresses within the film, but there was one actor in particular that almost lost his role in Jordan Peee’s Us due to his character in the Marvel film.
Winston Duke surprised many as his Black Panther character M’Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe.
But it was his tough guy warrior-vibe that almost cost him his role in the upcoming horror film, Us.
“It would take away from our ability to feel afraid [for the family] if they have M’Baku on their side. [On the other hand] Winston had this charisma that just stole scenes and really left an impression.”
Duke and Lupita Nyong’o play a husband a wife duo in the upcoming horror film that take their children on a vacation gone terribly wrong.
They’re soon stalked by some super creepy strangers, who just so happen to look exactly like him.
Peele was hesitant on casting Duke for the role, afraid that the audience would not feel fearful for the family if they had M’Baku on their side.
Fortunately, Peele was won over by Duke’s charisma which ultimately ended up snagging him the role.
A role which Duke was very thankful for.
“I was in conversation for a lot of [roles in which] the character was a fighter, a big guy — he’s aggressive, a warrior,” Duke tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I loved playing M’Baku, but that’s not who I am. I want to convey the full spectrum of masculinity. I want people to say that this guy helped change the definition of masculinity onscreen 40 years from now. I’m trying to be that person.”
Us is slated to hit theaters on March 22, and after snagging Peele his second 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, we can’t wait to see what this one is all about!
Check out Duke in the official movie trailer, below.