In any director's career there are always the ones that got away, those unmade projects that, for whatever reason, never became a reality. For Academy Award-winner Quentin Tarantino, when it comes to a Luke Cage movie that could have been the director's foray into the world of Marvel, the reason is that his friends talked him out of it, largely over who he wanted to cast. Tarantino wanted Laurence Fishburne; his friends had other ideas.
In a recent episode of Amy Schumer’s Podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith, Tarantino opened up a bit about the Luke Cage movie he considered making in the 1990s, explaining that it was between Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and that he is a huge fan of the Luke Cage character and has been since childhood.
"There was a time before all this Marvel sh-t was coming out," Tarantino said. "It was after Reservoir Dogs, it was before Pulp Fiction, and I had thought about doing Luke Cage. Growing up I was a big comic-book collector, and my two favorites were Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, later Luke Cage: Power Man, and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu."
However, when he talked to friends about his ideas for Luke Cage, they had other ideas than what Tarantino thought would make for good casting.
“What dissuaded me … was my comic-geek friends talked me out of it,” Tarantino went on. “Because I had an idea that Larry Fishburne would’ve been the perfect guy to play Luke Cage. But all my friends were like, ‘It’s got to be Wesley Snipes.’ And I go, ‘Look, I like Wesley Snipes, but Larry Fishburne is practically Marlon Brando. I think Fish is the man.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, but he’d have to get in shape in a big way. Snipes is that way already!’ And I go, ‘F-ck that! That’s not that important! F-ck you, you ruined the whole damn thing!’”
Ultimately, Tarantino moved on. As for Luke Cage, the character briefly made it to the small screen for two seasons of the Netflix series Luke Cage, though back in2016, Tarantino wasn't especially thrilled that the show took place in modern day. Tarantino felt it would have been better suited if set in the 1970s.
"Well, frankly, to tell you the truth, I might be one of the pains in their asses because I love the way the character was presented so much in the ’70s,” Tarantino admitted at the time. “I’m not really that open to a rethinking on who he was. I just think that first issue, that origin issue … was so good, and it was really Marvel’s attempt to try to do a blaxploitation movie vibe as one of their superhero comics. And I thought they nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. So, just take that Issue 1 and put it in script form and do that. The Luke Cage: Hero for Hire era … that’s the era.”
Would you have liked to have seen Tarantino make a Luke Cage movie? Let us know in the comments below.