Marvel Stars Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz Take a Dramatic Turn in New Film 'Nine Days' (Exclusive)

As Marvel fans eagerly await the second installment to the Black Panther franchise, Winston Duke, who played M'Baku, and Deadpool 2 star, Zazie Beetz are gearing up for their new film, Nine Days, set to premiere on Friday. Fans will see Duke play a much different role than what they're familiar with in Black Panther, as well as Beetz, who starred alongside Ryan Reynolds as Domino in the 2018 X-Men chapter. Both stars will introduce a much different side to their craft as artists in the Edson Oda-directed movie and fans may notice this film runs parallel with 2020, although it's not about a pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Duke explained the depth of his character (Will) and the "loss" that he's struggling with and how he feels there's a lot of his character in everyone. "Will is a character that has had a lot of loss; he's had a lot of loss. He's also had a loss of life completely; I think he's grieving being alive, the grief of having to go through such tough circumstances, and in a lot of ways, we are Will; we've been thrust into this space of living in quarantine — like Will — looking at life through a lot of small screens on social media for the last year. That was something completely unforeseen but we move along, champions adjust [...]," the 34-year-old explained.

Nine Days tells an abstract and emotional story of several unborn souls who have a chance to live life; however, Will, who's already had the chance to be human, struggles with his past. Beetz, who plays the role of Emma, brings out the best and worst in Will as Emma free-spirited nature encourages Will to face his truth. "I think a lot of Will and Emma's relationship is sort of the building of trust and allowing one-self to be vulnerable," Beetz explained. She noted that since they shot "everything in sequence" there was a challenge to build the emotional relationship "naturally."

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2020 certainly played a huge role in the lives of millions worldwide who battled with losses after the COVID-19 claimed the lives of so many. During last year's heartbreaking journey, Duke and others in the Marvel family and fans around the world said goodbye to Chadwick Boseman. The talented actor passed away on August 28, 2020, after being diagnosed with cancer — something he had not made public, even to those he worked alongside on the set of Black Panther. Nine Days premieres on July 30, 2021, in New York and Los Angeles, California, and nationwide on Aug. 6.