‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Star Winston Duke Says Marvel Antagonists Aren’t Villains

The M'Baku actor defends Marvel's villains.

Winston Duke Black Panther Avengers: Endgame M'Baku

Winston Duke, who will reprise his MCU role of M’Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has shared his thoughts on Marvel’s villains.

Winston Duke made his big-screen debut in 2018 in Marvel’s Black Panther, in which he first played the leader of Wakanda’s Jabari Tribe opposite Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger.

Black Panther‘s Killmonger quickly earned high praise from fans as a villain with a sympathetic cause, being motivated to take extreme action against the racial injustice he had seen around the world. Apparently Winston Duke agrees with fans that such MCU villains aren’t really villains at all.

Winston Duke On MCU Antagonists

In a recent interview with Collider, Winston Duke said he never thinks of the MCU’s villains as villains, just people with different goals. The actor promised more of that moral complexity would be on display in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Duke said that he always thinks of Marvel’s villains simply as “antagonists,” rather than villains. While Killmonger is Black Panther‘s most obvious example, he also nods to his own character M’Baku as an example. While initially antagonist towards T’Challa’s claim to the throne of Wakanda, M’Baku ends up joining forces with his enemy to protect the wider world.

Speaking about Marvel’s villains, Winston Duke said:

“I never think of Marvel villains as villains. They’re all so complex that I always just call them antagonists. They just want different stuff, and they’ll go head-to-head with our ‘heroes’ to get what they want. And Marvel does such a good job of making their antagonists so palatable and worthy of redemption. M’Baku understands the complexity of the situation. In that way, his mind is always open, and it’s always working. I’m really excited for people to see the complexity inside this movie.”

Following the events of Black Panther, M’Baku seems to have aligned himself and his tribe with the rest of Wakanda. He was seen fighting alongside T’Challa against the forces of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. However, whether he remains an ally to the throne or again tries to seize power in Wakanda Forever remains to be seen.

Here is the synopsis for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever:

“In Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”

Directed by Ryan Coogler from a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will hit theaters on November 11, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming movie and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.

Source: Collider