Idris Elba Really Wants To Star In ‘Luke Cage’

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Idris Elba Luke Cage Comic Con 2011 Idris Elba Really Wants To Star In Luke Cage
Comic book movie regular and now Marvel frequent employee, Idris Elba, let the world know a year ago that he was interested in playing other Marvel characters, namely Blade and Luke Cage. After a scene-stealing performance as Heimdall in Thor earlier this summer and presenting footage for his role in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Elba reiterates that he wants the studio to take full advantage of their multi-picture deal with the Brit actor.

During the Sony Pictures Comic-Con 2011 presentation where four upcoming major features were showcased, Idris Elba participated in the panel for the Ghost Rider sequel and fielded a fan question about Marvel roles he’d be willing to tackle and responded by re-affirming his interest in Luke Cage.

Not unlike the situation for Ant-Man, Luke Cage – or at least a Heroes for Hire film co-starring Iron Fist – is another property Marvel has name-dropped for years alongside the likes of Black Panther and Dr. Strange. Unfortunately for fans of Luke Cage aka Power Man, Marvel is focused on their core Avengers characters and creating franchises for each of them individually, alongside The Avengers team-up and its sequels.

Whether or not Luke Cage will get an introduction on the silver screen in the near future, Elba explained during the panel that he is definitely still interested in playing the character, referring to the audience and stating, “we just need to know that you want that.”  He followed by saying that he “can do a lot with that character” given the chance.

Cage is a highly physical character and by the time they could get a film into production, Elba could be in his 40s (he’s 38 currently), so as talented as he is, Marvel likely would take a path similar to that of Thor in casting a younger, lesser-known actor to star.

Could you see Idris Elba bulk up to play Luke Cage for one or more films?

Until we find out more, look forward to The Avengers which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard. It is written and directed by Joss Whedon, opening in theaters on May 4, 2012.

Check out our Official Comic-Con Page for all of Screen Rant’s live coverage of SDCC 2011.


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  1. It could be done

  2. i say michael jai white is a better choice, not only is he a prestigious martial artist but he can act as well.

    • i totally agree Michael Jai White FTW

  3. Isaiah Mustafa FTW

  4. Only if the Luke Cage project isn’t in the same universe as the Avengers movies. He’s already played someone in the Shared universe.

    • meh I find the parts so different and he was covered. I doubt very seriously if (non geek fans like ourselves) anyone could really connect it to a degree that would ruin either movie series.

      Heck even knowing he was in both if it does happen wouldnt bother me in the least.

      It is not like he was a major part of or was showcased a lot in Thor. When I say major I mean on the screen a lot.

      • Actually it’s not at all about whether someone would notice.

  5. he was stellar as Heimdall. Heimdall should get his own movie and I hope he can factor into Avengers somehow even though we know *Cap America SPOILER from here after* that Thor will get back to Earth using the cosmic cube in a similar way to the Red Skull inadvertantly using it to be transported from Earth.

    • I personally don’t think the Heimdall character could carry an entire film, or at least hold an audience’s interest. Elba did do a fine job with the part in Thor though but the character can’t carry a film.

  6. I don’t really want Elba as Luke Cage. Elba did an amazing job as Heimdal and if they put him in another movie as another character it might mess up the whole continuity of the MCU.

  7. Elba is an amazing actor, but I think he is better suited to Blade. Isaiah Mustafa for Cage

  8. I say audition everyone for Cage, this casting needs to be perfect.

    The cage movie needs to absolutely badas* with extreme violence, a martial artist/actor would be ideal.

  9. One of the few Marvel characters I don’t really particularly care about, but hopefully they can find a good actor.

  10. Idris Elba was great as Heimdall in Thor and I think he is a great choice for Luke Cage.

    My other favourite choices are Michael Jai White and Terry Crews, both are great actors and can bulk up for the role.

  11. idris for blade, he can’t being playing multiple characters that are involved in the avengers… i want blade re-done.. and hannibal king done right

  12. Here is your Luke Cage: Rampage Jackson MMA fighter and also starred as B A in the A Team. If not him Michael Jai White or Terry Crews.

  13. henry simmons or morris chestnut for cage

  14. I can only see Michael jai White in this role

    • agreed…see him in “undisputed 2″

  15. MJW would own this role. He’s African American and a Martial artist. He has the following/background to have *automatic respect for the character. Whether its a ‘Summer movie is another story. Marvel Studios will sooner or later have to break into show casing their character films at other times during the year.

    Doctor Strange would be HUGE…before/during Halloween! Not a huge budget to produce.. introduction of the character to the MCU..and the ‘Magic aspects of the Universe can be exsplored and expanded…

    Micheal J White would be great…
    But if not ‘Henry Simmons. Remember the character has to have an appeal to Woman also…Terry Crews may be kind of scary…LOL!

    • The problem Marvel has to solve with Dr. Strange is that it would require a huge effects budget (magic, strange dimensions, supernatural creatures, etc) but the pre-existing audience that knows who he is would be smaller than would justify such a budget.

      Marvel has to carefully build awareness of the character so they don’t get toasted at the box office. Recovering that huge budget is going to be a trick…but if they can get more people aware of who he is they can do it..

  16. @Screenrant: is it possible for you guys to create a poll where we can VOTE on which Marvel character should get his/her own film first.

    I would love to see some statistics on what the other fans and movie goers think and who they would want to see in cinemas the most.

    The obvious choices for the poll (IMO) would be: Black Panther, Luke Cage, Heroes For Hire, Dr Strange and Ant-Man.

    Let me know if it’s at all possible, thanks :)

    • oh and good idea

  17. hey dont forget moon knight,the punisher,winter soldier,the vision,namor the sub-mariner,the inhumens,captian marvel,and war machine.

    • and iron fist

    • Let me just narrow that list ;)
      * War-Machine is unnecessary – he will be in IM3 – do we really need MORE?
      * The Vision could never carry his own film – mainstream audience doesn’t know him – the character’s back story isn’t good enough – he could easily be introduced in Avengers 2 as a secondary character.
      * Captain Marvel is also too “unknown” to the general public – he might work as a supporting character in a possible Miss Marvel film.
      * No one wants the Punisher anymore – the franchise has been messed up so much I can’t imagine any one still wanting to see a movie about him.
      * Moon Knight also too unknown – personally I would love a Moon Knight film though.
      * Inhumans TOO UNKNOWN – remember, these film have to be appealing to the mainstream.
      * Sub-Mariner and the Winter Soldier would be awesome – I have no problems with that.
      * Iron Fist is a tough one – he could carry his own film – it would be awesome – but he could very easily fit into a Heroes For Hire and then include Luke Cage as well – “two birds with one stone” and all that.

      Sorry if i sounded a bit obnoxious there ;), but you have to be realistic about this… these characters have to be well known and “likable” enough for the general public to be interested in.

      • @The Avenger, totally agree. However, “Inhumans” & “Guardians of The Galaxy” are perfect Pixar-esque ready films and “Captain Marvel could cameo in either one of those to test if audiences will like him or not. “Punisher” will only work as a cable t.v. series and or supporting character in someone elses’s movie. Punisher and Blade should team up and or cameo in another character’s film before they get another chance at a solo film. Moon Knight would also only possibly work if he gets tested first as a cameo or supporting character with another street level or mystical character such as Iron Fist.

  18. After watching The Wire, Idris Elba WAS awesome. He would definitely be a wonderful Luke Cage but the Marvel higher ups would look at the age thing. I would like to see more black actors as major Marvel characters on screen. A Black Panther movie would be SWEET with Chiwetel Ejiofor as T’Challa. After watching Redbelt, Chiwetel is perfect to play him.

  19. Hollywood’s choices for some of these Marvel comic films can be puzzling. Luke Cage was a modestly super-powered (bullet proof, sub-Spider-Man level strength), moderately interesting character; but that’s about all. Not terrible, mind you, a bit of spice in the Marvel Universe, but certainly not worthy of a full, two hour movie treatment, let alone a series of films. Ditto the above sentiments for any Iron Fist cinematic outing. Ant-man, in my opinion, is one of the least compelling characters ever concocted by Stan Lee’s stable.He’s not as uninspired as Ice-Man or the Angel, mind you, but he’s nowhere near exciting enough to warrant his own flick. I get the reasons they might have gone for a Ghost Rider franchise (the whole supernatural angle, admittedly, gives him a uniqueness lacking in the story of other characters, and might be a draw for fanboys more turned on by horror films than run-of-the-mill superhero types.) However, the egregious mishandling of that title ought to give pause to all involved regarding a possible reboot. The Marvel Univrse is packed with so many riveting figures, why they would settle on any of the above is beyond me.

  20. Well…once I’ve seen the other *interesting and complelling arguments..I’ve changed my priority.
    Dr. Strange,Black Panther and Namor are corner stones in the MCU. So as a priority they should appear before any ‘Luke Cage/Iron Fist movie. Or any individual film about both.

    Somehow Ant-man is very important(Ultron,Yellow jacket, Goliath) but a full feature Film with advertisement for months***
    I don’t know..Steve P. made a very good rational business observation. Marvel Studios is doing well..don’t want another ‘Green Hornet or ‘Green Lantern..
    Let the other studios make the mistakes..

    • Agreed.
      If they want to do Ultron in Avengers 2 or 3 (which is a MUST), Hank Pym has to introduced before hand (since he created Ultron). I’m fine with having Hank as a secondary character in Avengers 2 (I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t see Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Hank and Janet still need to be included – as scientists at least.)
      I also think that the Black Panther, Sub-Mariner and Dr Strange have to come first before Luke Cage, Heroes For Hire, etc.

  21. Considering the current movie in development (The Avengers) it would make much more sense to produce Black panther and Ant-Man/Wasp movies to add to the cast in Avengers 2 than someone like Luke Cage.

    • Agreed.

  22. a Heroes for Hire film makes more sense to me than all the others combined (other than a Shang Chi flick starring Donny Yen).
    It would require virtually no CGI, shoot it in location (NYC…Chi..LA) to also save some cheese.
    The villains only have to be moderately powerful, just someone who can take or dish out an old fashioned A.. whooping.
    Misty Knight, Coleen Wing and Iron Fist can all fit in with Luke on one screen.
    Terry Crews gets my vote over MJW, but buy a narrow margin. I think he’s more menacing than White and built just right. White has the martial arts down pat and also doesn’t need to bulk up. I’d rather see him play Black Panther than Cage.
    So, my line up goes like this (not that you asked):

    Cage: Terry Crews
    Iron Fist: Scott Adkins or Ray Park
    Coleen Wing: Ali Larter
    Misty Knight: Sanaa Lathan

    • Ali Larter can not be casted as Colleen Wing u realise the character is Japanese

      • Mace,

        She’s only half Japanese. Only recent incarnations of her have shown any hint of Asian features anyway. Having said that, I wouldn’t be mad if they picked an Asian actress.. just pick one with action chops.

        • Ali Larter still the wrong choose she has no Asian in her so no shes the wrong choice. its not the recent incarnations shes always been asian its the person who draw her does not make a effort thats all.

          • Mace…

            I’m not sure how long you’ve been hip to the character but if you go back and look, her Asian features have never been drawn, so a caucasian playing her isn’t out of the question.

            Hollywood has always whitewashed characters.

            What i’m hearing you say is that the character has to be played by a Euroasian then? Is that correct?

            Because by what my interpretation of what you wrote, then an Asian person can’t play her either because she’s (The comic book character) is half white.

            Since the artist’s rendition of the character is what people see, and if said picture or pictures through the decades have been of a chick sans any Asian features, then the public will buy that for a movie role.

            We’re on a thread about a cat who played a WHITE character in his last movie by the way.

          • Maggie Q!

            • Maggie Q! Nice pick even though I think she’s over marketed right now. She’s a known commodity and that’s what really counts in Hollywood these days. I think her best role was the last Die Hard.

              How about the young lady that was in “Firefly?” Summer Glau??

              I’d also go with:

              Rinko Kikuchi
              Thanh Van Ngo

              BUT..they don’t speak English.. sigh.

    • @ Nate Cool, I agree but Terry Crews doesn’t have the right facial looks or acting chops. A good director for this would be Antione Fuqua and or Ridley Scott OR Gary F. Grey.

      • Old Ulik,

        Crews is better known for doing comedy which is harder to do than dramas, so I don’t think he’d have a problem pulling it off, plus he did a pretty good job in the “Expendibles” carrying around that auto shotty.

  23. I would love to see Idris Elba play ” The Black Panther ” , but ” Luke Cage ” is Michael Jai White, if Marvel can’t see that then they are blind…

    • Agreed.

  24. Some people don’t understand the dynamics of some of these characters. Luke Cage is a TALL and MUSCULAR street/brawler type of fighter that will stategize and use unexpected weapons too; his fighting style is NOT pretty BUT it’s highly effective. Iron Fist however has a beautiful flowing martial arts style. Black Panther is also a master of various martial arts BUT Black Panther’s style is HIGHLY acrobatic and agile; WAY more agile than Iron Fist’s style. Black Panther would be likened to a “Parkur/Freerunner” to 10X power but utilizing martial arts. While Iron Fist is more traditional and mixed marial arts with CQC and distance fighting BUT mostly based off of more older “mystical/esoteric”(lotus/wing chun,tai chi tc.) martial art styles while incorporating new tequniques and weapons occasionally.

    • I agree with 90% of what you said there Blastaar. The free runner part about BP throws me off, but I get your drift. Wait, after reading that again, I’ll up that number by 10%.
      That’s why I think Terry Crews fits the bill more than anyone else. You don’t need someone who leaves their feet to fight. Cage is a cat who, if he needs to kick you, it’ll be in the nutts or a double leg ala WWE style to finish off a punch drunk opponent.

  25. Elba as LC would be perfect casting,especially since his turn in “Luther” has been nothing short of spectacular. Here’s hoping that Marvel gives him a chance!

  26. Michel Jai White would be great to play Luke Cage!!!!

  27. I’d prefer to see Terry Crews as Luke Cage.