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For years now, ever since X-Men really kicked off the superhero craze back in 2000 probably, we’ve heard talk that someone in Hollywood may want to make a movie out of Luke Cage. Most of this talk has come, well, not from anyone who might actually make this movie but from black actors who’d really like to play the character. What’s the big deal? Why all the interest in playing a comic book character few have ever heard of? Honest answer: He’s black.
The thing is that there just aren’t many black superhero characters in comics. Go debate the reasons for that on some comic book site’s message board, but it’s true. Outside of the X-Men’s Storm, superhero characters of color are in short supply. I suppose that’s why in order to play a superhero Will Smith ended up inventing a new one out of thin air, in Hancock. That worked. Another viable solution to this problem is the one already being used by Marvel: Cast a few characters colorblind. Samuel L. Jackson is a brilliant Nick Fury and I loved Idris Elba as the Guardian in Thor. Making movies out of existing superhero characters, possibly even lame superhero characters, just because they’re black though? That seems like a dead end road.
Still, interest in playing Luke Cage remains. The latest actor lobbying for the probably non-existent part is Isaiah Mustafa, better known to you as the infinitely awesome Old Spice Guy. Rumor has it that some form of a Luke Cage movie may actually be in development somewhere, and rumor further has it that Mustafa has been meeting with the people in charge about playing the comic book hero. When he met with them, there’s a good chance he showed them this:
What you just watched is a promo video featuring Mustafa as Cage. Odds are it’s something he put together on his own, as a way of pitching the studio on his involvement. Josh Hutcherson did something similar back when he was still a contender to play the new Spider-Man. Sometimes this sort of thing actually works, I loved the shot of him punching through a door, and Mustafa manages to look heroic in a sort of non-specific way.