Talk of Quentin Tarantino once wanting to direct a Luke Cage movie has turned up online again, as if it’s new; but it’s really not.
The “Hateful Eight” director, currently promoting that film, revealed in a December 18 (2015) podcast interview with The Nerdist that he had seriously considered pursuing a “Luke Cage” film before he made “Pulp Fiction.” As you’d expect, the news has gone viral, with film and comic book blogs picking it up and sharing their individual thoughts on what could’ve been.
Several folks have emailed me the link to the Nerdist interview, so I thought it was worth revisiting here.
It was in 2012 when, during an interview with MTV Movies, while marketing “Django Unchained,” that “QT” talked about his desire (or lack there of) to jump on the superhero movie bandwagon and direct one of his own. During the conversation, he revealed the following: “After ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ I had considered doing a ‘Luke Cage, Hero for Hire’ movie. [Producer] Ed Pressman owned the rights at that time, and we talked about it… I talked to Larry Fish [Laurence Fishburne] about being Luke Cage, and he really liked that idea. Then I ended up writing ‘Pulp Fiction.'”
And that was the end of that!
“QT” went on to say that, since then, he hadn’t at all been tempted to return to that Luke Cage project, nor was he interested in entering the realm of superhero movies, adding that if he were to ever make a superhero movie, it would likely be a superhero that he invented himself.
So what might have a “QT”-directed Luke Cage movie looked like? We could probably assume that there would’ve been some blaxploitation influences and flourishes – a character that first appeared in Marvel’s universe of comics right around in the same year (1972) that saw the releases of blaxploitation classics like “Super Fly,” as well as those featuring similar fictional tough black guys (although not superheroes) like “Hammer” (Fred Williamson), “Slaughter” (Jim Brown) and others.
As for the casting of Laurence Fishburne – I thought that was an interesting choice. He certainly had proven his acting talent by then, so he would’ve brought a seriousness to the project that some of the other cats we had been hearing about around that time for the role, couldn’t have really matched; although Fishburne would’ve likely had to bulk up, adding some muscle mass to his somewhat average frame at the time (this would’ve been just after “Boyz N The Hood” was released).
No matter now, because the project isn’t happening; “QT” went on to do “Pulp Fiction” instead; Fishburne went on to do “Deep Cover” and “What’s Love Go To Do With it,” and the rest is history.
Of course a Luke Cage TV series is currently in production in NYC, with Mike Colter starring, which is set to premiere on Netflix in 2016. Whether we’ll eventually see a Luke Cage feature film is anyone’s guess.