Black Panther actor Winston Duke says he doesn’t believe M’Baku would have sided with Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Upon its release in 2018, Black Panther shattered box office records and became a critical darling, later going on to become the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa soon became a fan favorite, and “Wakanda forever” became one of the year’s most-used phrases. A sequel was officially given a release date last year, and Black Panther 2 is expected to roll into theaters in May 2022.
Duke is expected to return in Black Panther 2 as Jabari leader M’Baku, who was last seen taking on Thanos’ army in Avengers: Endgame. Much of the details surrounding Black Panther 2 are unknown, especially when it comes to the film’s villain. Fans are eager to hear who will be opposing T’Challa in his next adventure, and that could be because his first antagonist, Erik Killmonger, was so well-received. Killmonger’s role in Black Panther was widely praised because of his compelling (and persuasive) motivation.
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Regardless of how persuasive Killmonger could be, though, Duke firmly believes M’Baku would not have been swayed if Killmonger had approached him for an alliance. While talking to THR about his new Netflix film Spenser Confidential, this hypothetical situation was posed to Duke, and he said he believes M’Baku “would’ve shut him down immediately.” He then went on to say this:
M’Baku is the ultimate conservative of Wakanda. He believes in closed borders; he doesn’t believe in outsiders. He believes that Wakanda should be for Wakandans. He’s that hyper-conservative minority. Any alliance with any outside party wouldn’t work with him. At the core of his being — at least how we met him — he’s a guy of integrity. I don’t think he would want to take over the throne in any insidious way. If M’Baku was gonna do that, I think he would’ve accepted the heart-shaped herb when they brought it to him and not revealed T’Challa’s frozen body. I think he would’ve just taken it for himself, but he demonstrated great conviction in turning it down and agreeing to show up to help change the day and change the tide of that battle. That ensured that Wakanda was safe, and he stayed on the moral high ground. I think M’Baku is a lot more approachable than people give him credit for.
In Black Panther, T’Challa and M’Baku didn’t exactly see eye to eye. It wasn’t until Killmonger came into the picture and threatened Wakanda that they finally joined forces. However, this doesn’t mean all is well between them. Duke has previously said he wants M’Baku to be the villain of Black Panther 2, though it’s unclear if writer-director Ryan Coogler will take that into consideration. During the same interview with THR, Duke says he knows nothing about the highly-anticipated sequel, only that he trusts that “they’re going to invest in M’Baku and tell a really bold story.”
Killmonger might’ve had a good point, but it’s fair to say his methods weren’t exactly praiseworthy. And while M’Baku might disapprove of T’Challa’s leadership, it’s clear he cares about Wakanda more than anything, and would have done anything to see it safe. Without M’Baku, T’Challa wouldn’t have been able to stop Killmonger, so it’s a good thing M’Baku didn’t care to join the bloodthirsty mercenary. On the other hand, if he had, it might’ve been easier to set up M’Baku being the villain in Black Panther 2. Regardless, it’s safe to say Black Panther turned out exactly how it was supposed to.
Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2020)Release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020)Release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
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