Man-Ape Joins Cast Of Black Panther
Winston Duke has joined the small, but already impressive, Black Panther cast according to Variety. He played Dominic on Person of Interest. The character was an intelligent tough-as-nails gangster whom commanded respect. Duke received high acclaim for his role throughout the show’s fourth season. He’ll be joining an all-star cast with Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis and Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa the Black Panther. With this up-and-coming actor, Marvel should be receiving a great villain in Duke.
In the movie, Duke will be playing M’Baku known as Man-Ape. The character is not well known, but essential to the mythology of the Black Panther. In ancient Wakanda, their existed the White Gorilla cult and Panther cult. They each worshipped the animal of their namesake, creating their different religions. Eventually, the Panther cult became the dominant of the two, outlawing the religion of the White Gorilla.
In spite of the White Gorilla cult being outlawed, the religion was being practiced in Jabari village. In order to fight their foes, the White Gorilla performed a magical ritual in which a rare white gorilla was sacrificed. The recipient of the power bathed in the animal’s blood and ate the flesh to magically transfer it’s power. Although the White Gorilla was able to match the physical prowess of the Black Panther, he and the cult were defeated. Over time, they failed in their attacks and attempts to overthrow the Panther cult.
During modern times, the man who became Man-Ape was a Wakandan named M’Baku from Jabari Village. M’Baku grew up to become the second greatest Wakandan warrior, only to the Black Panther himself. Being a proud and ambitious warrior, he believed himself to be the better man to lead Wakanda. Although the White Gorilla cult was outlawed, M’Baku took it upon himself to revive the religion and perform the ancient ritual. Gaining the power, reflex and stamina of the White Gorilla, he named himself the Man-Ape and challenged T’Challa to combat. Surprisingly, Man-Ape was able to defeat the Black Panther and prepared his beaten foe for death. In a shocking twist of events, Man-Ape’s attempt to kill T’Challa with a giant panther statue went sideways. Before he could crush his enemy, the statue crumbled and buried him alive.
Although he was severely injured, Man-Ape was able to survive his misfortune and escape. He would go on to become a thorn in the side of both heroes and villains. As of September 2016, he is mentioned as deceased in Black Panther Vol. 6 #4. Just like the mantle of the Black Panther, the Man-Ape/White Gorilla could continue to exist through others. Watch Winston Duke bring Man-Ape to life in Marvel Studio’s Black Panther opening in theaters on February 16, 2018.
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