The Quentin Tarantino ‘Luke Cage’ Film that Never Was

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 27th, 2013 at 2:05 pm,

Quentin Tarantinos Luke Cage Film The Quentin Tarantino Luke Cage Film that Never Was

Quentin Tarantino’s love of superhero comic books can be seen in a number of the films he’s been involved in.  The conversation about Silver Surfer in the film Crimson Tide was written by him; one of the more memorable monologues from Kill Bill 2 was a deconstruction of Superman; and Inglourious Basterds was influenced, at least in part, by Sergeant Fury and the Howling Commandoes.

The filmmaker recently revealed that, before Pulp Fiction, he was also interested in making a Luke Cage film starring Laurence Fishburne.

Here’s what Tarantino said, courtesy of MTV:

“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 [Laurence Fishburne] about being Luke Cage, and he really liked that idea. Then I ended up writing ‘Pulp Fiction.’ “

Perhaps more than comic books, Quentin Tarantino is a huge, huge fan of blaxploitation cinema, as evidenced in films like Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Django Unchained. A film from Tarantino about Luke Cage (A.K.A. Power Man) – itself a comic book inspired by blaxploitation – almost certainly would’ve been a thing of beauty, combining two of the filmmaker’s favorite things inside of a single project.

Luke Cage Leading the New Avengers The Quentin Tarantino Luke Cage Film that Never Was

Luke Cage and the New Avengers

Obviously, it didn’t happen, and we got a bona fide classic instead, so all’s well that ends well and all that. Still, I can’t help but wonder what a Quentin Tarantino superhero film – and a Luke Cage film in particular – might have entailed. It probably would’ve been set in the 1970s (much like Tarantino wanted to set a Casino Royale/James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan in the 1960s) and been more akin to the original iteration of the character than the modern interpretation.

Would Quentin Tarantino be interested in adapting a superhero comic book for the big screen now? Said Tarantino:

“My feeling is if I wanted to do something like that, I’d want to create the superhero myself.”

So that’s probably a no.

With The Avengers 2 and various other Marvel superhero films (and TV series) on the way, it’s entirely possible that Luke Cage could make an appearance as part of Marvel’s Phase Two (or Three or Four). At one point, the character was slated to appear in the proposed TV show A.K.A. Jessica Jones, an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis’ comic book Alias from the screenwriter of the Twlight series, but ABC ultimately passed on that show.

Luke Cage Hero For Hire Issue One The Quentin Tarantino Luke Cage Film that Never Was

When – and if – Luke Cage is realized as part of Marvel’s cinematic universe, you can probably expect it to be less influenced by blaxpoitation and more influenced by Bendis’ take on the character, especially if the character joins the Avengers.

Do you guys want to see Quentin Tarantino direct a superhero film? And if so, would you rather it be an adaptation of an existing comic book or something of his own creation? Drop us a line in the comments.

Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, Django Unchained, hits theaters December 25th, 2012.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: MTV

TAGS: Luke cage
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  1. I want Tarantino to stop making films all together. His films are terrible IMO. Some are “tolerable” like Pulp Fiction and Resevior Dogs. But Kill Bill goes down as quite possibly the worst film ever created. Right down there with The Garbage Pail Kids.

    • you suck, you really do…

      • I know there is mixed feelings about Tarrantino but your comment is so lame. I mean…
        You don’t have to like the guy or his movies but knowing the huge among of followers this director has, your comment is just there to set people of.
        Really no point in that (and completely out of subject…)

          • Ditto to your original post Leather…

            And in case anyone was unable to get the gist of your post..

            Tarantino is a talentless hack. He got lucky with Pulp Fiction due, mainly, to an excellent cast.

            • +1

          • (rumors) director John Singleton wants Luke Cage but I don’t mind Quentin directing with his film making style. Terry Crews is my number 1 choice to portray Luke Cage

      • Not as bad as Tarantino. I bet in real life he is a lot like the character he portrays in “From Dusk Til Dawn”. A real creep.

        • @leathercheerio. I’m not a fan of his work either, but I wouldn’t neccessarily consider him a “complete” hack. What frustrates me about watching his movies is that I only find bits & pieces that really entertain me while watching,never the whole film.

          • Same here in regards to watching the whole films. “Kill Bill” was the only movie Ive ever walked out of in the theater. It was THAT bad. And I like spaghetti westerns.

      • +1

    • @leatherCheerio You actually have no clue what you are on about! If Tarantino is such a hack why oh why do some of the most talented actors in the world want to work with him?? Fassbender, Dicaprio, Waltz, Keitel, Pitt the list goes on and on!!!!

      • I’ll answer that one for you Mikey. Some actors/actresses(maybe most)are in the movie business just to simply pick up a paycheck. If they see a highly successful director cashing in on all/most of his work then they too will want in on a piece of that action. Which is why they’ll choose that particular person over someone who isn’t doing so well, or as well as the top guy. But that doesn’t neccessarily mean they like the guy or his films, just the rewards(money & fame)that they will gain at the end of it all.

        • So you’re saying all these actors are clamoring to be in a film directed by a guy whose average domestic box office take is ~$62M? A guy who has only directed 2 films which broke $100M domesitic?

          So by your logic, actors should be kneecapping each other to get into a Michael Bay flick, right?

          • Yeah that’s exactly right. If you weren’t so quick to respond to my comments, & actually payed attention to what I wrote you would have noticed I mentioned “MONEY & FAME”! What that means in case you didn’t know is that movies can sometimes if not mostly make stars out of actors, or even resurrect someones already deminished career. So if Quentin or Bay makes a film regardless of how much profit it makes it will still get enough attention for those trying to extend their careers. This will ultimately lead to those who star in their films more acting jobs hence why I said people would choose them over someone who doesn’t gain the same amount of recognition as they do. I hope this clarifies what I was trying to get across earlier, & I hope you were paying attention while reading it.

            • From what I’ve heard actors say the main draw for Tarantino is his dialogue.

              His story telling is all taken from old movies. So people like to see how he re-imagines those scenes.

              A lot of people think he is a hack because they don’t realize he is deliberately being cheesy. He’s making B movies with a huge budget and A list actors. Most of the time it turns out entertaining but occasionally it gets a little tiresome.

              I’ve wondered if he ever did an original movie that wasn’t inspired by old B movies if it would be any good.

    • @leathercheerio, I don’t agree with your opinion (Inglorious Bastards and Pulp Fiction are two of my favorite movies), but I do respect it.

      (Come on guys, don’t bash the dude just because he doesn’t like Tarantino!)

      • Thanks buddy.

    • Kill Bill was silly but have you seen Death Proof? LOL

    • Bro, if you don’t like him, that’s cool, but many people out there do. and if you’re so good, lets see you write, produce and direct something.

  2. I’m gonna take a quote from ESPN ‘s Chris berman and say this : come on marvel! Come on marvel studios! A Luke cage and black panther movie please. Let’s go!

    • @rome. Very interesting proposition you made there. I’ll go one step further & propose an “All Black” super team set within the MARVEL universe. War Machine,Falcon,Panther,Cage,& 2 others would be great.

      • Call it the NAACSH?

        • Huh!? What the heck are you talking about?

            • I knew that’s what it meant. The acronym just looked kind of weird that’s all, but I got what you were saying. Maybe it’ll be an official organization.

              • S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrates the N.A.A.C.S.H.’s mobile base that is guarded by the cast of The Monkey Hu$tle. I can see it now…

                • That was an awesome mental picture.

              • Let’s just call it the League of Super Bros. Los Bros for short. Of course that kind of leaves out black female super heroes. Wait. Are there any black female super heroes? I think there was one in the Justice league but she was half animal and the other half was french so that doesn’t really count.

                • If you’re refering to MARVEL, last time I checked Storm from the X-Men isn’t exactly white my friend. If you want a complete list though you can Wikipedia it, & they’ll give you an entire list.

      • I seriously doubt marvel will have an all African American super hero team. Hell they’re having trouble getting the black panther solo film off the ground. Would be kinda cool though. I guess we could add blade 2 the group as well.

        Let me also add this, Tarantino should do a shang Chi master of Kung Fu movie.

        • There will never be a full on all black superhero film, and don’t count blade because black to white ratio in blade movies was laughable. truth is people will not go see a movie with a black lead because they assume it’ll be an “urban film”, just look at any movie will smith stars in… he is 9 out of 10 times the only black person of any importance in the film, every one else is just white or ambiguously brown-ish. Also, Michael Jai White for Black Panther and Terry Crews for Luke Cage.

          • why the hell Urban means black people that type of thing p me off. Michael Jai White is not right for Black Panther the guy knows martial arts but his acting is weak plus Black Panther is a young prince who becomes king and Jai White is old.

          • Although I agree with what you wrote(There will never be a full on all black superhero film)I disagree with why you said it. The bottom line, & “THE TRUTH” why that will never happen is the same reason why it’s never happened before. Hollywood has always had a bias towards putting an “All Black” cast together. Unless it’s directed by a black director(Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, John Singleton etc.)

            • that’s exactly what i was saying… the bias comes from it not being marketable because it may not appeal to whites and non-blacks. either way, Yeah i have to agree on Michael Jai white being too old with bad acting, i just wanted to see him on the big screen again, possibly naked… but that’s just me. But what black actor could (heck i’ll even settle for a dark skinned mixed actor) play Black Panther ? and please do not say Wesley Snipes because no, just no.

              • That was said about a black president also. Never happen. The thing is our population is changing. Black and brown people are becoming the majority and whites a minority. So look for black and brown heroes to become more marketable.

                • Unfortunately, you’re comparing apples & oranges. Politics & Entertainment are 2 completely different fields. One is primarily more important than the other, & is more detrimental to this countries future prosperities. Therefore, the final voting by the people came down to who they believed could better lead this country rather than what the 2 candidates looked like.

                  It’s definitly not that way when it comes to who should star in what movie.

            • STEEL.

              Yes I was laughing the whole time I typed those 5 letters. However it does complete your requirement even making a white guy the baddie.

              It is not bias now adays. I think one major factor plays a multi faceted part.


              Fear that it will be succesful. Fear that there are not enough talented actors/actresses to pull it completely off. Fear that regardless of how good it actually is people will not go see it. Fear that whoever writes/directs will try to spin it.

              I would love to see a Cage movie. (Sorry BP I never really liked) It could spin off the Xmen 1st Class line of thinking.

              During the Missle crisis (or heck even a super soldier derivative to tie into The Avengers) the Government decided to fund some prisons for expierments. Those expierments were conducted on Mr. Cage which gave him the powers we know to include an expanded life line. That would explain why he is walking around now.

              Sorry im rambling now…..

              Open the movie with Cage (the bald current Cage) bouncing his baby on his knee with a voice over speaking towards how he never though this would have happened in a million years…. flash back to the 60s him getting sent to prison, the Govt funding the prison and the expierement going wrong (or right). That is 10 mins tops for an origin (have part of it run with the credits all about saving time). His powers can be shown as the movie follows current time.

              OR we can do flashbacks back and forth between current time as he is strolling his child around the city…. seeing what he saw 40 years ago on those same streets. The struggles he had both as a youth and new ‘super hero’.

              End it with a reason he stayed ‘local’ and more or less hidden from the rest of the populace. Until now……

              Again sorry mind started going and I started typing….. :D

  3. I’m somewhat surprised that no one has convinced Disney/Marvel to let them take these properties and make either series or 2 hour specials and sell them to the SYFY channel. They need a superhero or two back on the network.

    I know it’s probably impossible but I wonder how a superhero channel created by Disney would hold up? Could they take third string character stories and carve a live action TV niche? Those who dreamed of a live action “Star Wars” series could live there too…

    • @the old man. Disney XD is the closest you’re going to get to a “superhero channel”. Which isn’t that bad when you take a look at what they have now, & coming up in the future if you ask me.

  4. I would love to see this movie come to life. Not sure about Q.T. doing it though….

  5. Keep. QT. Away. From. Marvel. Movies.


    • Ill give it this… the soundtrack will be awesome.

  6. Unless the movie is a violent gore fest, Tarantino does not know how to tell a story. Tarantino is to “action” violence as Bay is to “action” explosions.

    All of his movies are the same at their core; who ever kills last, wins. I love “action” movies of any genre but his stuff gets boring.

    • Inglorious Basterds is Amazing. Pulp Fiction Amazing. Resevoir Dogs Amazing. I guess some people don’t like his style. I love it, apparently as do millions of others.
      As far as QT doing a Marvel Super Hero movie. I don’t think that he’d do well there. That’s my opinion.

      • The same can be said about Michael Bay. I’m pretty sure he’s grossed more on the box office.

        • I agree. Not every director is great at doing films in “every” sinlge genre. Each person has his/her own niche when making certain types of movies.

        • The difference being that Michael Bay’s movies don’t often have twenty or so minutes of uninterrupted dialogue. THAT is one of the reasons I like Tarantino, because name one other director who will do that in his violent action flick.

  7. Would have been awesome. Much like Caranahan’s propose Daredevil reboot.

  8. Tarantino’s a good director,
    and he has brought out some good hero flicks.
    but there’s the thing; hero flicks, he may be good at.
    but comic & cartoon super heroes, not much of a shtick for him.
    his material is waaaay too mature for that kind of thing.
    and since disney owns marvel, he would have to strip down alot of his signature themes, and still might not even get away with that.
    if marvel weren’t bought out by disney, I’d say HELL – YES.
    and while he’s at it, throw a little Iron Fist tag-team action in there. but since it’s the way it is, then out of pure respect for Tarantino,
    I’m glad he was not able to follow through with it.

    • I agree(of course)that Disney is the boss, but only financially. Remember, the main reason why they purchased MARVEL is because the marvel people couldn’t afford to spend money on their own projects which made sense for the buyout. At the end of the day these are not Disney films they’re MARVEL’S. Marvel only says what goes into “their” movies, because ultimately it’s their reputation that gets driven through the mud if these films don’t deliver on screen.

      • Disney will always have a say they spend all that money on Marvel and dont have a say on Marvel films lol.

      • Of course at least 4 of the films Tarantino directed were distributed by Miramax… a company that was owned at the time by Disney.

    • How would Tarantino get his erotic foot fetish scene into a super hero movie? Lol. Maybe he could do it with the Beast in X-men.

  9. I’d be up for QT going all Dolomite on the Luke Cage character. Corny, over the top and violent.

    But Disney would never go for Tarantino’s esthetic…… so it will never happen.

    • what u talking about Disney used to own Miramax Films and that studio produce QT movies. so Disney has work with QT before also remember Disney has hired James Gunn to do GOTG the same guy who done PG PORN online series lol

      • It’smore like Marvel Studios would never make something as mature and break away from their lighthearted comedy formula.

        • Kevin Feige said he not ruling out R-Rated movies

        • Characters like the Punisher & Blade which MARVEL studios both own are NOT lighthearted comedy. If you think Marvel’s going to water them down to make them more “kid friendly” I completely dissagree with that notion.

          • Since IM2 the tone of Marvel Studios films have committed to a more kid friendly tone. I don’t see them changing. Their version of Blade will be no where near as mature as Snipes version or a Punisher as graphic as Jane’s. Their movies have catered to a younger demographic since IM2 in oreder to sell more merchandise. It’s a business move.

            • If what you claim does come to fruition(crossing my fingers that it doesn’t)then that’s going to suck big time. Or maybe not who knows. If there’s one company that can make total badasses like those characters look good in a PG-13 setting it’s got to be MARVEL.

            • Wasn’t Blade done by New Line, a WB company? (AOL Time Warner)

              • New Line has no ties with Warner Bros. whatsoever.

            • One of the few times I would have to disagree with you. I beleive CERTAIN characters will always have that.

              However I dont believe they all will. Punisher shirts still sell well. As for Janes Punisher I thought the Ray Stevenson Punisher was more graphic and was produced under the Marvel Studios and Marvel Knights logo. (Although I thought one of the Blades was too?)

              They just need to market it correctly. They need to tell it like it is and not try to pretend it is IM or The Avengers type movie.

              From the Studio that brought you IM, Cap and The Avengers comes a darker side of the Superhero…. and no not Nolan dark…. street dark…. :D

              And lets face it regardless of the age (to a degree) they will eventually see it.

              The things that hurt these type of ‘hard core’ films are the idiots in the world that do stupid things.

  10. That would have been pretty interesting to see.
    Can’t say if it would have been great, but certainly interesting…

  11. Yeah, the only Tarantino movies I thought were good were Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, the others have been overlong and boring.

    Saying that, if they wanted to go with the original Luke then he’d be a good consultant on dialog and such but directing? No thanks.

  12. The chance to have QT direct an established hero movie passed with Watchmen. As it was a story filled with more talking than anything else.

    If he wanted to make a hero film from scratch go for it. His established fan base would praise it. as for established hero’s, hands off QT, you’ll just ruin it.

  13. I think Quentin would make a great super hero movie. The drawback however will be that he will make things difficult like Chris Nolan did for DCU.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of what Nolan did with Batman – and in some ways he can’t be faulted for it because he set up his trilogy before everyone went batsht crazy over cinematic universes – but Batman becoming too humanized is what makes it hard to include him in The Justice League. He should’ve made his physicality at least be like Owlman in Watchmen, or Captain America.

    I suspect that QT would make an amazing superhero movie but his contribution may not mesh well with the idea of a shared universe… (unless he god fathers it)

  14. We missed out on a Quentin Tarantino Marvel film?!


  16. Tarantino should do a Luck Cage film now with Michael Jai White as the star. Would be excellent.