Winston Duke, who caught the public’s eye with his performance as M’Baku in Marvel’s Black Panther and Avengers Infinity War, has been cast as MMA legend in the upcoming biopic about him, Backyard Legend.
The film will focus on the story of the Bahamian-born backyard brawler who became a mixed martial legend after his backyard fights drew a huge YouTube audience, changing his life forever. Kimbo Slice died suddenly in June 2016 at 42 from heart failure and a liver mass. Though he battled high blood pressure for years, Kimbo Slice insisted on boxing months before his death, winning a three-round heavyweight match against Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris at Bellator 149 in Houston.
Backyard Legend will be produced by Steve Lee Jones’ Bee Holder Productions and Michael J. Weiss’ Webros Entertainment, with Duke and Michael Imber, Kimbo’s longtime friend, manager and employer, serving as Executive Producers (EPs).
When asked about the role, Duke shared his enthusiasm for what it can mean.
“I’m looking forward to exploring Kimbo’s story and interrogating the expectations society places on men like him who are their own special breed of hero.”
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Duke’s next projects also include Jordan Peele’s Us, alongside Lupita Nyong’o.