The Quentin Tarantino 'Luke Cage' Film that Never Was

Quentin Tarantino's Luke Cage Film

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
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

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

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