Being a Wakandan warrior in “Black Panther” and the “Avengers” movies, Winston Duke is wowed by the expansive spectacle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What’s equally impressive for him, though – and way more frightening – is the dizzying intellectual scope of Jordan Peele’s “Us.”
The new horror film kicks off South By Southwest film festival in Austin Friday night and arrives in theaters March 22. Duke stars with Lupita Nyong’o (his “Black Panther” castmate and fellow Yale graduate), Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex as a family on a beachside California getaway who are faced with their terrifying doppelgangers.
The follow-up to Peele’s popular social thriller “Get Out” interrogates our culture and also explores constructs of power and privilege. “What if your privilege manifested like this and the underprivileged essentially had an opportunity to visit you?” Duke says. “It’s really about how you see yourself. This is an American film but by holding a mirror up to America, you then wonder what the juxtaposition of America is through the world. It paints an interesting picture.”
After “Us,” Duke returns to Wakanda to play Jabari tribe leader M’Baku in “Avengers: Endgame” (out April 26), and next year will share the screen with Mark Wahlberg, who plays novelist Robert B. Parker’s famous Boston detective Spenser, in the Netflix crime drama “Wonderland.”