Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe really kicked into high gear a few years ago, fans have endlessly debated about which actors would be the best fit for specific characters. One such character is Luke Cage (a.k.a. Power Man), who has never before received a proper live-action adaptation on either the big or small screen. Whenever rumors of a possible Luke Cage film have been brought up, only a few men have repeatedly found their way onto the dream casting list, and one of them is definitely Terry Crews.
The former NFL player-turned-actor has proven himself to be more than capable of excelling at both action and humor, able to switch from badass to comedian in the course of the same scene. This skill set would seemingly make him a perfect choice to play the always tough, yet occasionally sarcastic, Hero for Hire. Not to mention that Crews is the spitting image of how Cage is currently drawn.
Unfortunately, Crews publicly withdrew himself from contention for the Cage role back in September, seemingly out of the belief that Marvel would never actually push forward with a film about a character it didn't see as a priority. That all changed in November though, when Marvel announced it was teaming with Netflix to create streaming series starring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
With shooting on Daredevil set to begin in summer 2014, and Luke Cage sure to follow not too long after that, Crews has now seen fit to change his tune. During a recent interview with Collider, Crews expressed interest in the role, and seems to just be waiting for Netflix to contact him:
“I heard [it’s greenlit] but I haven’t gotten any calls. I’ve been hearing stuff like, ‘oh you’re too old,’ and I’m like, ‘Man do my workout 20 years ago and we’ll talk about who’s too old (laughs). Like I said, anything can happen, I never rule anything out. I’m game. There are no rules. What’s up, Marvel? I’m right here, baby. I ain’t goin nowhere. You know where I live! (laughs)"
Crews also clarified exactly why he chose to rule himself out previously:
“Actually I took myself out of the Luke Cage running a while back, just because it was people trying to put people against each other. [It was] Idris vs. Michael Jai and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, this is not even greenlit! Can we talk to Marvel? Why are you talking to me? Don’t put me against my homeboy for a movie that’s not existing.’ I said, ‘Take me out!"
While there's little doubt that many fans would love to see Crews play Cage, one question mark is the actor's ongoing commitment to recently renewed Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Crews plays a large supporting role on the Andy Samberg-fronted police comedy, and it would be completely up to FOX as to whether they would allow him to star in a high-profile series for a competitor at the same time.
Also, despite Crews laughing it off above, Marvel/Netflix may very well prefer to hire a young, up-and-coming actor to play Cage. Crews is 45, and while that's by no means old, it's certainly not very young either. Plus, Marvel/Netflix might not want to pay Crews' asking price, one that will surely be much higher than most other actors that audition for the part. That all said, if the two companies value the opinion of fans, Crews will definitely be a top contender to lead the Marvel Universe's expansion into streaming video.
Netflix's Luke Cage series is still in preproduction, and has no definite premiere date.