With the furor surrounding the big tent pole superhero films due out over the next decade from Marvel Studios, Fox, Sony, and Warner Bros., comes speculation as to what heroes will appear -- and who will portray those heroes on screen. Though not arriving on the big screen, Marvel’s Netflix series surrounding The Defenders -- Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist -- have not escaped rampant speculation, especially Luke Cage. In addition to Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) voicing interest in the role, Idris Elba (Luther, Pacific Rim) had previously said he wanted the role, though he has since been less forthcoming about the possibility that he will portray the hero.
Now, with Daredevil set to premiere on Netflix in May 2015 and the following series to debut afterward, Elba has possibly confirmed he will not be playing the Hero for Hire -- though, it seems Marvel has found their Luke Cage.
During a Reddit AMA (hat tip to CB) a fan asked Elba what it would take in order to get the actor the gig as Luke Cage; Elba responded (vaguely) that he believed Marvel already has an actor signed on to portray the hero in the studio’s Netflix series. When asked to comment further, Elba refused to elaborate.
Read Elba’s full quote:
"Uh, I think there's an actor already signed on for it, fortunately or unfortunately."
Although there are many ways to read Elba’s comment -- for example, that he could be referring to himself as the actor -- it appears, at the very least, Marvel has found their Luke Cage. Given Marvel’s policy on actors appearing as more than one character within its cinematic universe (with the exception of Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. and The Vision) and The Defenders series inclusion in the MCU, it’s not surprising Elba won’t play Luke Cage after his role as Heimdall in Thor and Thor: The Dark World.
However, on whether or not Marvel has come to a decision as to who will play the Hero for Hire, the actor still doesn’t sound too sure of his statement. While it’s possible Elba may have insight into the studio’s decision, it’s also possible his comment could have been a deflection of the question, rather than a definitive answer. We won’t know for sure until a more official statement is released.
In terms of another casting rumor, Elba had a more concrete answer. Earlier this year, the actor was rumored to be joining Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur as a reimagined Merlin character, but during the Reddit AMA (hat tip to CB) Elba confirmed he would not be in the film.
Read Elba’s full quote:
“Unfortunately I'm not in the ‘King Arthur’ movies. That was a rumor, that wasn't true unfortunately. But I wish the guys a lot of success.”
Although Elba was able to give a definitive answer in terms of his involvement on King Arthur, his vague comments on Luke Cage are much more interesting. However, depending on the filming schedules (and order) of Netflix’s upcoming Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist series, it may be some time before an official report is released on the Hero for Hire.
Daredevil premieres on Netflix in May 2015. King Arthur debuts in theaters July 22nd, 2016.