The early ’90s were a wild time for filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. After Reservoir Dogs blasted its way onto screens in 1992 and stole the hearts of critics, the awards circuit, and a chunk of audience members alike, Quentin was hot shit. He was tossed a lot of offers to direct big projects, be they sequels, adaptations, remakes, etc. The man ultimately (and wisely) decided to make something original instead, following his debut with Pulp Fiction two years later. Did he legitimately consider making something else first, however? It seems that one prospective project caught his eye: Luke Cage.
That’s right, folks! The motormouth cinemaniac auteur seriously considered chasing after the director’s chair on Luke Cage when the character was initially set to get his own film in the early 1990s. While he apparently was never officially offered the chair or even met with a studio about it, the thought had crossed his mind. Apparently his more comic-loving friends talked him out of it and he moved on to focus his energies on getting Pulp made instead.
Tarantino on Luke Cage (courtesy of The Nerdist)…
“In the case of Luke Cage, it was my comic geek friends that almost talked me out of it, because I thought Larry Fishburne back in the daywould’ve been a great Luke Cage, and they were talking about Wesley Snipes. And I could see them both, but it was like ‘I think Fish would be better.’ And they go ‘Yeah, he could work out and everything, but he doesn’t have the bod that Wesley Snipes has, and Luke Cage needs to have the bod. And I literally was so turned off that that would be their both starting and ending point, that it literally put it in my head that, if I do a comic book movie, it should be an original character. It should be something I create rather than try to fit in.”
The project ultimately never came to pass, bouncing around between a few studios before ultimately reverting back to Marvel. Cage has been used on a few animated series over the years, but did not make his live action debut until Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” last month. He has his own self-titled series, which is currently in production, scheduled to debut on the streaming service sometime next year.
Given the character’s origins and Tarantino’s love of blaxploitation cinema, which permeates throughout his entire body of work, I’m sure whatever he’d have come up with would have been worth seeing. Everything worked out for the best, however, with the filmmaker turning out a wonderful body of work thus far and Mike Colter showing fans ’round the world that he is the perfect Cage for the MCU. Tarantino’s latest film, The Hateful Eight, hits screens in a limited engagement on December 25th. It expands nationwide on January 1st.
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