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LUKE CAGE: Hollywood Hero For Hire

Sweet Christmas! Why He Should be the Next Big Screen AVENGER

By Chad Derdowski     August 25, 2010
Source: Mania


Comicscape: Luke Cage
© Mania

We tend to get a bit ahead of ourselves here at Comicscape. We haven’t seen much more than production stills from the Captain America film and we’ve only seen one trailer for Thor – neither of which will be hitting theaters for nearly a year – but we’re already thinking toward the future. We already know we’re getting Avengers and the anticipation levels are soaring… but what comes next?

The big screen Marvel Universe has expanded in a similar fashion to the real Marvel Universe, with various references and easter eggs strewn throughout each film, hinting toward a much larger, shared reality. The Avengers is the first step, but we know it won’t stop there. Just like the real Marvel U, we fully expect the film version to continue to expand. Edgar Wright has stated time and again that Ant Man can be expected in a few years, but we’d like to throw our two cents in regarding the next franchise. Our choice should be fairly obvious, especially if you’ve been reading Comicscape for any length of time.

Two words: Luke Cage.

 

Star Power

The former Power Man has become a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe lately and is currently leading the Thunderbolts and his own team of Avengers. He’s come a long way from being the guy who flew all the way to Latveria to get the $200 Dr. Doom owed him. And it isn’t just that Cage is a star; there are plenty of Hollywood stars vying to portray him on the silver screen.

Okay, so maybe “stars” is a strong word, but there are plenty of actors who have expressed interest in donning the silver tiara and yellow blouse. Tyrese Gibson has been begging to play him for years, Wesley Snipes has been rumored as a potential lead (although to be fair, Snipes has been rumored to play every black superhero in existence) and now the Isiah Mustafa, the Old Spice guy, has thrown his hat into the ring.

Speaking of rings, Isiah Mustafa has got to be the best pro wrestler we’ve heard in years… but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, a lot of people love Luke Cage, a lot of actors want to play Luke Cage and the way we figure it, there’s got to be a pretty big market for a film featuring Danny Rand’s best buddy. Here’s why…

 

Street Smarts

Growing up in Harlem and spending time running with gangs gives Cage a unique perspective in the superhero world. He’s not billionaire genius Tony Stark and he’s not timid bookworm Peter Parker. He wasn’t chosen to become America’s hero as part of a secret government experiment and he’s not a god perched upon a golden throne in the heavens. Luke Cage grew up poor, was in and out of juvinile homes and had big dreams of being a racketeer until he saw the effect it was having on his family. Luke Cage has seen hard times, he’s done hard time and he’s actually managed to come out better for it. His heroism isn’t borne out of a single incident like his uncle’s death or having a piece of high tech machinery embedded in his chest, but a lifetime of hard knocks. Where others might have taken the easy way out, Luke Cage has chosen the hard life of fighting crime and that makes him a very unique superhero.

 

The Buddy Factor

Want to spin a whole new franchise out of an already existing franchise? Worried that Luke Cage can’t carry a movie all by himself? Want to add a touch of humor to your next superhero flick? All of these problems can be solved with five simple words: Power Man and Iron Fist. Imagine it as a buddy-superhero movie, like Lethal Weapon or Shanghai Knights, only… you know, good. And with superheroes.

A billionaire who grew up training in a mystical city teamed with an inner-city hero for hire? What’s not to like about this concept? As an added bonus, both men have been Avengers, so it’ll be that much easier to spin this franchise out of that one. And Luke and Danny come with their own cast of characters and ties to other aspects of the Marvel Universe, creating more film opportunities. Even better, the movie could be set in the 1970’s as a send-up of the kung fu and blaxploitation films that both characters were inspired by, ala Black Dynamite. Now that would be a Sweet Christmas!

 

It’s 2010, For the Love of God

Seriously, we have a black man in the White House and we don’t have a black superhero on the big screen? And no, Hancock doesn’t count. Blade was more horror than hero and as sweet as he may be, War Machine isn’t going to carry his own movie. Black Panther would be awesome, but at this point, we don’t know if he really has the notoriety of Luke Cage. As odd as it may sound, we’re pretty sure Cage is closer to being a household name than T’Challa, so while it might sound more exciting to see the denizens of Wakanda brought to life on the big screen, Luke Cage would probably be a safer bet.

Luke Cage is probably the highest profile black hero in comics right now. Plus, he’s just a freakin’ awesome character, and that has nothing to do with the color of his skin. He knows everybody in the Marvel U, is respected by his peers as well as the folks who read his comics, and has been at the forefront of every major Marvel event in the past decade or so. It’s high time the man made it in Hollywood.

 


 

In addition to penning Comicscape on a weekly basis and contributing reviews and such, Chad Derdowski is also ¼ of the Zod Complex podcast, a group of geeks banded together from the farthest reaches of the galaxy for the purpose of spreading knowledge and opinion on pop culture and comic books! Find them at ZodComplex.com today!

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 45
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jayinvincible 8/25/2010 4:25:35 AM

I would love to see Cage on film but truthfully that aren't may actors that fit the character. Tyrese and Mustafa both lack the ability to......act. Snipes could do it if he weren't in jail but that dude is getting old. Truthfully, I would love to see Will Smith do it but I doubt Marvel would pay the money. Terry Crews would probably be the best option though and could provide a boost for President Chamacho

Cerak 8/25/2010 5:27:12 AM

Two words: bulletproof skin.

jedibanner 8/25/2010 5:34:08 AM

Will smith??? He's nowhere near what Luke Cage is.

Terry Crews would be a good choice. Luke Cage needs to be a big, strong black dude and not a skinny version of Cage just because the actor is cute and black. That Old Spice guy has NOTHING remotly close to what Luke Cage is so, why he's pushing his name for this role beats the hell out of me.

monelonmonday 8/25/2010 6:37:38 AM

 gotta be terry crews

savagelee 8/25/2010 7:26:27 AM

I’d also like to suggest Chad L. Coleman, from The Wire. He hasn’t got the size, but he’s got the look, and the moves. I think he could pull it off. My other big choice is Michael Jai White, who was bad-ass as Black Dynamite.

I'm torn between wanting Luke Cage to be a 70's period piece, or a more modern thing. I'd kinda love to see a movie where he's sent to jail in 1975, and then gets experimented on and escapes in 2010, but the same process that gives him bullet-proof skin turns him back into a young man? Then you could play with all his "1970's exploitation-movie" character trappings in the current climate. 

One of the great things about Luke Cage is that he's comparable to the original 1940's Superman. A tough guy with no mask, just kicking butts on a neighborhood level to make life a little better for the common man. Not a vigilante, so much as just a decent guy, trying to do what's right and still make a buck at the end of the day.

Luke Cage, prior to being brought into The Bendis Avengers Saga, is one of the great Marvel characters. Now he's trotted out way, way too much every time the Marvel Universe wants to try to impress somebody. "Oh yeah, we're cool. Have you met our Black Avenger? He talks jive-talk. But don't be threatened, he's quite nice actually."

I wish Luke Cage only showed up in Marvel Max comics. And the same for the movie: R-rated, please.

lister 8/25/2010 8:49:49 AM

How about The Rock. No seriously. His level of acting might fit in with the necessary tone, which I expect might be kind of like Walking Tall.

What? Hey, if there can be a black Kingpin or a black Spider-Man or a black Nick Fury, why not??

But whatever. The worst that could happen is they get Samuel L. Jackson to play him. And that ain't gonna happen.

littlemikey979 8/25/2010 9:26:29 AM

Terry Crews would be the better choice today. And yes it has to be set in the 70's for at least the first film. 

Can you imagine halloween the year this movie comes out?

I think the Old Spice guy is just trying to get his name out there cause he knows him commericals ain't gonna last forever. Maybe he would be better as Black Manta when they get around to making the Aquaman movie.

ecrobinson 8/25/2010 10:18:33 AM

"Seriously, we have a black man in the White House" in my Eddie Murphy voice LMFAO!

Lets see: Whats more believeable

 Smarts??!!!

Growing up in Harlem and spending time running with gangs gives Cage a unique perspective in the superhero world He wasn’t chosen to become America’s hero as part of a secret government experiment  (Not Exactly).He grew up poor, was in and out of juvinile homes and had big dreams of being a racketeer.Has seen hard times, he’s done hard time and he’s actually managed to come out better for it. (WTF) A lifetime of hard knocks

Star Power

Wait before you treat him like a step- child (Wesley Snipes) Marvel Studios should be kissing this brothers ass for actually putting these type movie on blast, And he did it with a practically unknown Black superhero,

 So what are you really saying:? verse

The Black Panther Tchalla

T'Challa is the super genius warrior king of the African nation Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation on Earth.That has never been invaded from any outside force, He's also one of the smartest men in the Marvel Universe, a former Avenger, and husband to Queen Ororo Iqadi T'Challa (Storm). Black Panther is the first modern black superhero. T'Challa possesses a genius level intellect. His genius is as such that he is one of the eight smartest people on Earth.He is a Master Martial Artist: He has been groomed to be a warrior from birth. An expert in practically all forms of armed and unarmed combat, and a master of all martial arts including African and unknown forms. He is a master of stealth, disguise etc. He is considered to be one of the best martial artists to have ever walked the Earth. This is evident by him being able to stalemate and even gain the upper hand at times against opponents such as Captain America, Daredevil etc. in hand to hand fights.

Weapons Master: The Panther has mastered all known weapons.

Master Acrobat: T'Challa is a rigorously trained gymnast and acrobat.

Expert Marksman: He is a master marksman adept with hunting knives, firearms, and other projectile weaponry.

Master Tactician: T'Challa is a genius tactician, strategist, and leader who is practically peerless. He was taught tactics and strategies in his youth by his father who encouraged him to always think two steps ahead of his enemies and three steps ahead of his friends. His prowess is such that he is able to out think and out maneuver individuals such as Tony Stark, and other geniuses[5].

Expert Tracker & Hunter: Even without his superhuman senses, he is a master tracker and hunter. He can pick up a prey's scent and memorize tens of thousands of individual ones.

Multilingual: T'Challa can fluently speak his native language, English, and other various languages.

Master Inventor: He can invent various devices with special properties when needed. While not all of his inventions are as good as others made by Tony Stark and so on, he possesses engineering abilities and intellect that makes him a peer and has proven to be able to invent and create weaponry that rivals their engineering capabilities. T'Challa can also duplicate practically any other technologies after learning how they work or by glancing at the designs.

Highly Influential Connections: As king of Wakanda, the Panther has access to a vast collection of magical artifacts, technological and military hardware, as well as the support of his nation's wide array of scientists, adventurers, and superheroes.

Diplomatic Immunity: As the leader of a sovereign nation, He often visits the United States or the United Nations for political reasons. He enjoys diplomatic immunity during these trips, and his embassy is considered foreign soil.Strength levelHis strength is almost superhuman, Black Panther has demonstrated exceptional feats of strength like wrestling down a Rhino, knocking out a Polar Bear and even stopping a Elephant's charge. He's classed at the peak of human potential.
 

Luke Cage is probably the highest profile black hero in comics right now. Look at the way you market him he will appeal to those that shop at the  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV2XBNl5604

Rheul_home 8/25/2010 10:36:34 AM

Terry Crews is my pick for Cage. I think it should be set in the 70's too. I do however think Heroes for Hire would make a better TV show than film though.

monstermaniac 8/25/2010 1:22:04 PM

I have to agree with everyone here. Terry Crews would be an amazingly good Power Man/Luke Cage

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