Winston Duke made millions of new fans as beefy vegetarian M’Baku in Black Panther—which, believe it or not, was his first feature film role. Now he’s set his first starring film role, as Deadline reports: He’ll be playing late MMA fighter Kimbo Slice in the upcoming biopic Backyard Legend, currently being written by White Boy Rick screenwriter Andy Weiss.
Born Kevin Ferguson, Kimbo Slice was known as one of the most intimidating fighters in MMA, an especially impressive feat in a sport based around people beating the living shit out of each other. Fueling his ferocious reputation was his background as a bodyguard for an adult film company, as well as his experience in the anything-goes world of underground fighting. He died in 2016 at the very young age of 42.
Duke is set to executive produce the film alongside Slice’s manager/friend Michael Kimber, always a sign of a passion project for an actor. In a statement, Duke says, “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.”