Winston Duke's career is on the upswing with his role as M'Baku in both Black Panther and Infinity War, which brought him major attention, as well as his role in Jordan Peele's upcoming Get Out follow up Us. Now, it has been announced that Duke with star in Backyard Legend, a biopic about the late great MMA fighter and boxer Kevin 'Kimbo Slice' Ferguson. The project was first announced last October, but a lot has changed since that initial announcement. Kimbo Slice's life story is tailor-made for the big screen and Duke seems to be an excellent choice to bring that story to life.
Backyard Legend is being written by White Boy Rick scribe Andy Weiss and is about Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson's life from growing up in the Bahamas to moving to Florida. Kimbo Slice was homeless at one point in time and started bouncing at a strip club and then providing bodyguard work for pornographic films. He later rose to fame when his YouTube videos of intense backyard brawls went viral, which led to MMA contracts and a boxing career. However, his career was cut short when he died from heart failure at the age of 42.
While some of Kimbo Slice's story may seem a bit rough around the edges, he was known for having a heart of gold and everything he did was for the benefit of his family. Backyard Legend producer Steven Lee Jones is excited to bring the Kimbo Slice story to the big screen for this reason. Jones released a statement talking about that excitement as well as his enthusiasm for Winston Duke taking on the role. He explains.
"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!"
Winston Duke also released a statement that touches on the little known fact that Kimbo Slice was a family man and a different kind of hero. In addition to starring, Duke is also taking on an executive producer role alongside Kimbo Slice's long-time friend, manager, and employer Michael Imber. Imber will also be featured in Backyard Legend with an actor that has yet to be determined. Duke had this to say.
"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."
Backyard Legend is still in development at the moment, but news of a director and a production start should be coming in the next few months. Simon Brand was originally attached to direct when the film was first announced, but it is not clear if he is still on board. Plus, more casting news will also be made in the next handful of months as well. While we wait for more information, you can read the original report at Deadline.