Idris Elba Interested in Luke Cage Role

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 10th, 2013 at 12:02 am,

Idris Elba will take his first step into the Marvel movie universe next year as Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh’s highly-anticipated Thor. But could the actor pop up in other Marvel movies down the road?

Speaking with Total Film recently about his role as Alex Cross in David Twohy’s reboot of the popular crime franchise, Elba explained that he had a multi-picture deal with Marvel and that he would be back for other films. Elba didn’t say specifically what films he would appear in, but he did make mention of two possible characters he would like to play: the vampire hunter Blade and “Hero for HireLuke Cage.

The key word in that last sentence is like. What Elba would like to star in, versus what Marvel would like for him, may be two entirely separate things. In May, we reported that Marvel was in early negotiations with a “notable Hollywood star,” for Luke Cage, so it’s definitely a possibility that Elba was offered the part. In any case, Elba would be an excellent choice for Luke Cage and I hope that Marvel at least considers the possibility.

Since his brilliant turn as the intellectual but ruthless gangster Stringer Bell in HBO’s The Wire, Idris Elba has become a hot commodity in Hollywood and it’s no wonder why. Elba possesses a considerable array of talents: He can play smart and sophisticated, but he’s just as capable in the world of high-intensity action. Elba most recently showed off his action skills alongside Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Evans in The Losers, Sylvain White’s enjoyable adaptation of the popular Vertigo comic book series.

luke cage movie marvel Idris Elba Interested in Luke Cage Role

Luke Cage is not one of Marvel’s most recognizable characters among general audiences, but he is exceedingly popular among comic book fans. Casting Idris Elba in the part would give Marvel someone who is liked among fanboys, but who is also at least somewhat recognizable for general audiences – a win-win situation. As much as I admire “Old Spice Guy” Isaiah Mustafa’s efforts to lobby for the part of Cage, Marvel would be undoubtedly be smart to sign Idris Elba for the role.

We’ll let you know what transpires on the Luke Cage front. Stay turned.

Source: Total Film

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I’d definitely watch that. He’s a talented actor & has the presence to pull off a lead role. I’d rather see him in the role than, say, Common.

    • I agree though honestly I didn’t even think about Idris Elba. That’d be interesting. I know many people are on the Michael Jai White team for Luke Cage, I’m all for Terry Crews playing him.

      • Terry Crews, hm? I’m not incredibly familiar with his work, but I’ve enjoyed him in the roles I’ve seen. Michael Jai White is great, but for me he’ll always be Spawn. Though, he was excellent in the short for Mortal Kombat.

        • Indeed. Michael Jai White is Spawn definitely and it is hard to see him as another hero IMO. He was really great as Jax and I wish that pitch was taken up by WB. I feel Terry Crews will be great as Power Man. I’m sure movie wise they’ll bring it up to speed with Luke Cage sporting the bald/goatee look,but I can imagine a scene where Luke Cage (Terry Crews) looks through his memorabilia and see his picture in the Power Man get up hahaha hair and all.

          • I agree with all the points you made here, Dizzy.

            • I’m hoping Jason. Either way I’ll be seeing the movie for sure.

              • I’d definitely check it out. I must say, I do like the idea of Michael Jai White….I’m just a believer of the ‘one actor, one superhero’ philosophy.

                • @jason: ya and how marvel’s new line of movies are connected with eachother and elba’s already playing heimdall which means……… would marvel allow him to play two characters in their new connected movieverse?

                  • I didn’t realize IE was in Thor. That changes my thoughts on his playing this character. He’s a great actor but now I am leaning towards other options just to preserve the integrity of the Marvel brand.

          • hated that pitch cause they destroy the MK universe. Michael Jai White can play another superhero anyway sine Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans have played more then one superhero on the big screen. remember Spawn was done so many years ago im shocked the studios have not reboot Spawn.

            • the difference here, though, is that Thor and Luke Cage will be in the same universe that marvel has created. X-men, Spider-man etc are Marvel characters but not in the same universe as Iron Man, Thor, Incredible Hulk, Captain america, Avengers and Iron Man 2.

              • did u read what i said i mention Michael Jai White can play another superhero movie we all know he played Spawn. but thats so long ago plus his not even a Marvel character. i already know Thor and Luke Cage will be in the same universe that marvel has created them. all i said Michael Jai White can play another superhero film just like what Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans have done jeez.

        • well most likely u seen Terry Crews in Everybody Hates Chris, The Expendables, Gamer, White Chicks, Street Kings, The Longest Yard, The 6th Day and some others.

          • I’m with you on the hate of that recent MK Pitch. That’s not Mortal Kombat. That’s…a straight to DVD movie with Steven Seagal as Goro. Makes no sense whatsoever in the realm of Mortal Kombat.

            • thank u i hate all those so called fans support MK rebirth its a insult to MK universe. not way u can ground MK universe, people keep on mention it works for Batman Begins. but these people dont release alot of the characters in the Batman universe are easy to ground. whats next make a realistic take on Dr Strange and get rid of his magic cause to make it more realisitic. WB should tell that director who did the god awful “FAME” remake to take a hitch with that pitch. the only this that MK Rebith getting so much support is the blood apart from that the pitch is bad.

    • No, i think Michael Jai White would be a better fit for Luke Cage. Check out Blood&Bone and Black Dynamite. Think about it.

      • watch undisputed 2
        it WAS luke cage

  2. O hell no. Sorry Elba brings too much sophistication and elegance to pull off Luke Cage. A miscast for me. And please no Terry Crews either, no matter what role he plays Im never going to take him serious, ever and to be Luke Cage the actor has to be nothing flashy or sophisticated. Just a regular street bad a** who has been to jail and only works on the streets and not someone who goes on galactic battles with cosmic entities. Michael Jai White please.

    • Too much sophistication and elegance? Ever heard of acting, you know, playing a role? That’s all he’s gotta do. Jai White needs to stay where he is, I do not want to see him on the screen.

  3. I really hope that if this becomes a successful film franchise that they introduce Jessica Jones to the movies.

  4. Perhaps as Blade, yeah, but the man just exudes sophistication and all I can muster is him saying; I’m a lover, not a fighter. If they ever do a remake of “48 Hours” I could totally see him replacing Eddie Murphy as Reggie Hammond but Luke Cage? But then he’s playing Alex Cross? Well I’m glad I never took up casting as a career. I guess I need to catch “Cross” to really form a good opinion.

  5. NO NO NO NO, Idris Elba already has a character in Thor, and if (when) the Thor character meets Luke Cage in Avengers 2 or 3, its gonna just get messy.

    one character per actor in superhero universes please. I wasnt too happy that Chris Evans got Captain America since he’s already the Human Torch.

    Isaiah Mustafa FTW

    • Fantastic Four got rebooted so they are not going to meet up or anything.

      • Fantastic Four is at another studio remember FOX Studio not Marvel Studio jeez

          • The characters will probably never meet up, always consider that we have no idea what will happen to his character in Thor yet. lets just stay quiet and see what happens down the road.

  6. Any fans of Elba should check out Luther, the nasty crime drama he did for the BBC earlier this year. It was excellent. Looked up to the quality of a US show.

  7. I am a fan of him from The Losers and The Office and other things of course
    He would make a pretty good Luke Cage, Marvel better not pass him up!

  8. My Issue with all these castings are that all the actors are WAY short for the role… Luke Cage is 6’5″ or 6’6″…. They need a big and broad actor to play him… Michael Jai White would be great in the sense that he can move as a fighter and stunt man, but not necessarily in the height department. (Also he’s a touch old for the role.. or at least will be by the time the go into production).

    Terry Crews would be ok, he’s getting a lot of notice since Expendables, but again.. kinda getting too old for the role. I had a budy that is a actor and stunt guy in L.A. who has been in a lot of projects who I think would be perfect for the role… Damion Poitier… IMO he would fit that Luke Cage role perfect, imdb him

    • Didn’t you realise. Almost all actors are short arses! Also you said Cage has to be a certain height, when did you last measure said fictional character?

      • lol Sam. True about the actors. Liam Neeson is considered a giant in the land at 6’4. On the movie screen, I don’t care about their height but rather the weight of their performance.

        • Exactly. Movies can make people look big or small just by tilting a camera, Tom Cruise is girlishly small and has made a career as an action star.

      • Well, to appease the comic book geeks who always crucify comic adaptations (have you been to a comic convention and heard the backlash over any horrid comic film?) I’m telling you that Luke Cage was like 6’6″…. In all regards he towered over others in the comics. I do agree that the actor should be able to ACT in the role and it shouldn’t be about just looks and as a professional musician and part time actor who has done work in L.A. I do realize that most actors are deceptively short in real life….. But lets try to get some of the look right with these parts…. Am I the only one who feels that way?

        • I think, especially with comic book characters, that the fans are always going to have a strong opinion about who should play their beloved characters. There is no middle ground.
          It’s either someone perfect or someone you instantly hate.
          As for Elba playing this part, he may not be as tall as you might want him, but he’s built, I would wanna fight him.

          • Couldn’t have said it better, Sam. Though, now that I realize he’s in Thor I’d prefer he wasn’t in this role. It’s a quirk, I know.

            • I actually agree, I don’t think he should do it if he’s already playing a character in the established universe, that’s ridiculous, I was saying that he would good for the part otherwise.

              • I agree. He’d be perfect if it wasn’t for the Thor part.

  9. How about someone like Mekhi Phifer? He was born and raised in Harlem, New York.

    He’s been in a few films but is currently a regular on the TV crime show “Lie To Me”.

    • Elba can pull-off Harlemite accent easily! Check him out on “106& Park”. I’m from Queens,NY and I know a good NY accent when I here one especially when it isn’t overdone. Elba’s got it,the acting chops,the look,will appeal to the suburb/urban dynamic, and will bring in the ladies.

      • Yes bring in the ladies. :-)

  10. I don’t care. This movie should not be made anyway. This is a classic case of this character is not big enough or popular enough to sustain a movie for himself. Just like Ironfist. Put them together and you might have 3 or 4 people in the theater opening weekend.

    • I must agree, unless it’s got some really good folks behind it, I don’t think this can turn out too well. With that said, I wouldn’t say it SHOULDN’T be made, it’s just not necessary. Does anyone outside of the hardcore comic book community even know who Luke Cage is?

        • To compare Luke Cage to Spawn is like comparing Plastic Man to Superman. Luke Cage’s story is not all that interesting nor are his powers. Spawn is a complete badass with cool villains. Luke Cage couldn’t even hold up Spawns burnt up jock strap.

            • The reason people liked Spawn was because he is cool. He has awesome villains and awesome powers. Luke Cage is just not all that interesting. Super Strength and Invulnerability. Oooooooo… that is cool. We have never seen that before. Especially in a comic movie. That is the point that I am making. Ask the average person who Luke Cage is. Most people have no clue. Even as a avid comic reader, I have only read a few of his comics just to give them a chance. They might as well just make Steel part 2.

      • Nick Cage?

    • Assuming it would be a full-length feature and not one of the proposed ‘shorts’ to precede a feature film of bigger name heroes.

  11. michael jai all the way :D
    not only can he act, but he has insane fighting skills therefore he’s the best choice. for all those saying ‘one actor per hero’, get a grip of reality, spawn was made quite a while ago (and it sucked) i don’t see how you could still feel attached to that PoS of a movie.

    like i’ve said in past threads: MJW-Luke Cage, scott adkins as iron fist (he is really good at pulling off accents, and he is insane as a MMA fighter) and lastly djimon hounsou as black panther, because he has a solid frame, the accent and is really good as an actor (i know he isn’t related to the 2 but i thought i’d throw that out there).

    i really liked the MK rebirth short, i mean yeah MK is ‘alternate reality’ stuff but look back at the past 2 or so MK movies, they had alternate reality stuff and they sucked bad, yeah it COULD work but seriously wtf is going to watch a movie about supernatural fighters who can shoot out ice beams and have 4 arms… unless its a straight to dvd in which it will have bad CGI and acting etc.

    seriously people sometimes you have to leave the nostalgia train and think about things form a realistic perspective. it wont kill you… it’ll just drive you nuts ;)

      • EXACTLY!!! Luke Cage is a STREET FIGHTER he does whatever necessary to get the job done,he’s not into “making pretty moves” that’s Iron Fist’s job to be the guy with the “stylized Martial Arts”.

  12. Heimdall is not a STAND ALONE/SOLO(except for when he stands alone on the Byfrost Bridge)character,he will surely get recast if seen once again on screen if Elba is cast as Luke Cage. This way Heimdall will look like he should have looked in the first place. They could easily have Heimdall killed in a Thor sequel and then resurrected but will look different.

  13. Oh well, it looks like Idris Elba messed up an opportunity for his own Marvel franchise as Luke Cage. Reportedly he has taken a role in “Sony’s” Ghostrider 2 as some stupid drunken monk type character.

  14. In a word, yes.

  15. I absolutely love idris Elba as an actor and an artist in general. But Michael Jai White is the embodiment of Luke Cage. Yeah, please take time and look at his physique, his attitude in any one of his movies, the fact that he’s a martial artist, the mortal kombat web series, with him as Jax. Look at all these things, and if you can honestly tell me that there’s anyone better, I’d like to know who. Michael Jai White looks like he just jumped off the pages of the Hero For Hire series.