Winston Duke has only two film credits to his name: Black Panther, where he played fierce Jabari Tribe warrior M’Baku, and Avengers: Infinity War, where… same. He’s no John Cazale, but still, not bad! His first non-Marvel Cinematic Universe movie will either be Us, the “new nightmare from the mind of [Oscar] winner Jordan Peele,” or Backyard Legend, a biopic about MMA fighter Kimbo Slice. If it’s the latter, he’d better start bulking up with more than just vegetables.
Deadline reports that “White Boy Rick scribe Andy Weiss is writing the screenplay about the Bahamian-born backyard brawler who rose from homelessness to mixed martial arts fame after his brutal backyard fights drew a huge YouTube audience” (Slice, real name Kevin Ferguson, died in 2016).
“I’m looking forward to exploring Kimbo’s story,” Duke said about the film, “and interrogating the expectations society places on men like him who are their own special breed of hero.” Producer Steve Lee Jones added, “It’s a rich and layered tale about this man’s incredible journey from a poor neighborhood in Miami to becoming a worldwide phenomenon. We are ecstatic that Winston has decided to take on this both physically and emotionally challenging role. We simply could not find a better Kimbo!” If Backyard Legend is successful, the sequel about Kimbo’s son, “Baby Slice,” is there for the taking.