The world of Wakanda will have a larger presence in Avengers: Infinity War than previously believed, with Winston Duke set to return as M’Baku. Duke has yet to even make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, but will do so early next year when Black Panther hits theaters. In the role of M’Baku (also known as Man-Ape in the comics), he figures to be an antagonistic role within the film, which also features Klaue (Andy Serkis) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) as the proposed big bads.
Since M’Baku is traditionally just used to challenge T’Challa’s right to rule, it was widely assumed that his role would be similarly small in Black Panther and possibly the only time he would be featured. Well, that is not going to be the case apparently, as he is the latest Black Panther cast member to be confirmed for Infinity War.
IMDb broke the news of his return by simply tweeting that Duke will be returning for the third Avengers movie. While IMDb is typically not the most reliable source as anyone can add info to the various pages, this Infinity War-related update to be legitimate – as it comes directly from the website’s official Twitter (see below).
It was already previously known that Chadwick Boseman would return as Black Panther for Infinity War (his first Avengers movie), but it was always unclear just how involved the entire nation of Wakanda could get involved. Based on the recent intel, it looks like it could be quite heavily. Casting calls have hinted at the Dora Milaje playing a role in Infinity War and it has now been revealed that T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) could be appearing in the film too (where she will need a stunt double). With M’Baku also set to be featured in Infinity War, it is very plausible that Thanos will attack Wakanda at some point and force its people to work together to defeat him.
This also seems to indicate that M’Baku will make it out of Black Panther alive – which some may consider a spoiler, but shouldn’t really come as a big surprise. This continues to show just how big Infinity War is going to be, if Wakanda is going to get its due along with the cosmos, Asgard, and the rest of Earth also hanging in the balance. Plus, with Black Panther being the final film to hit theaters before Infinity War, the more connections that the movies have to one another, the more important Black Panther will be to the larger MCU narrative.