Black Panther breakout star Winston Duke has been tapped to star as MMA fighter Kimbo Slice in the upcoming biopic titled Backyard Legend.
Deadline, who exclusively broke the news (although a rumor report was circling the interwebs earlier this week), says White Boy Rick writer Andy Weiss will write the project from Steve Lee Jones’ Bee Holder Productions and Michael J. Weiss’ Webros Entertainment.
Here’s what Deadline says: The Bahamian-born backyard brawler rose from homelessness to mixed martial arts fame after his brutal backyard fights drew a huge YouTube audience. 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. Before dying Kimbo Slice was scheduled to fight James Thompson in the main event Bellator 158 despite his family’s mixed emotions. They knew his health was ailing given his lack of energy in the Dada 5000 fight.
“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!” said Jones.
“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,” said Duke.
This is another booking for Duke, who will co-star with Lupita Nyon’go in Jordan Peele’s upcoming thriller Us.