*Winston Duke, who recently broke out as T’Challa’s ally M’Baku in Marvel’s “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” has been cast to play MMA legend Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson in “Backyard Legend,” reports Deadline.
“White Boy Rick” writer Andy Weiss is penning the screenplay about the Bahamian-born backyard brawler who rose from homelessness to mixed martial arts fame after his vicious backyard fights went viral on YouTube.
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.
Duke and Michael Imber, Kimbo’s longtime friend, manager and employer, who will be prominently depicted in the picture (the role has yet to be cast), will also serve as EPs.
The film is being produced by Steve Lee Jones’ Bee Holder Productions and Michael J. Weiss’ Webros Entertainment.
Jones says, “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!”
Duke adds “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.”
Duke is also attached to star in Jordan Peele’s upcoming movie “Us.”