Friday, July 16, 2010

Let Isaiah Mustafa Be Luke Cage

Luke Cage and Black Panther are two of the coolest superheroes ever created. For years I have created mental "casting calls" for the two characters. Typically, Wesley Snipes gets cast as Black Panther -- my favorite Avenger -- but my ideal Luke Cage has been more fluid.

Recently, I have tended toward Brian J. White. I really like Brian J. White as an actor, but even when he's an antagonist (like in Fighting) he's too likable to be the hard nosed Cage. That doesn't stop me from having him return to the top of my casting list.



Hollywood has been considering Tyrese Gibson for the role. Tyrese can certainly bring the edge the character requires, but he looked a lot more than 1" shorter than Paul Walker in 2 Fast, 2 Furious. Luke Cage should be intimidatingly tall and Tyrese, has never seemed tall in the films he has starred in.


I am a big fan of Taye Diggs, and his performance in Equalibrium cemented him in my mind as someone who can portray an intense action star. His work in projects like Private Practice prove that he can bring a nice softness to a role as well. My ideal Luke Cage needs both. He needs the anger and the empathy.

What none of these actors share, to the best of my knowledge, is a deep and abiding love for the character and for comics in general.

Isaiah Mustafa does. Not only has he been awesomely entertaining in the Old Spice Commercials, but he is a comic book fan who has publicly expressed his affection for the character.

I know, I know...you're going to say that Nicolas Cage is proof that fandom and genuine love for a medium doesn't necessitate quality films, we can argue that another time. I for one have enjoyed Nicolas Cage's films, even some that were universally panned. There's a kind of sincerity to them that is often lacking in productions. That sincerity matters.

Watching the G4TV interview below with Isaiah Mustafa convinced me that he has the sincerity. His willingness to fully commit to the Old Spice commercials, not matter how ridiculous they get, puts him at the top of my list of Luke Cage candidates.




Let's get Isaiah Mustafa to star as Luke Cage.
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