You might be aware that before Marvel Comics movies were popular, a string of actors and filmmakers attempted to adapt the comics into studio feature films. At one point, Wesley Snipes was trying to get a Black Panther movie together and James Cameron wanted to direct a Spider-Man film alongside producing Kathryn Bigelow’s Wolverine & The X-Men that predates the Bryan Singer version.
Another one of the interesting projects that never came to pass was Quentin Tarantino’s desire to make a Luke Cage movie with rising talent Laurence Fishburne, at the time known for films such as Apocalypse Now, Boyz n The Hood, and The King of New York.
Well, while speaking to Amy Schumer on her podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith (via IndieWire) he revealed why he didn’t end up making Luke Cage, which would have been shot after he tackled 1994’s Pulp Fiction taking the place of Jackie Brown and his friends tried to talk him into casting action star Wesley Snipes over Fishburne.
Snipes would eventually take the role of Blade and starting the wave of successful Marvel movies earning money at the box office (two years before X-Men). Quentin also mentions a love of the Shang-Chi comics, interesting enough, Blade director Stephen Norrington had been trying to develop a Shang-Chi movie after the success of Blade.
Anyways, here is what Tarantino had to say about the project.
TARANTINO:“There was a time before all this Marvel shit 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 favorite [comic books] were ‘Luke Cage: Hero for Hire,’ later ‘Luke Cage: Power Man,’ and ‘Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.’”
“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, ‘Fuck that! That’s not that important! Fuck you, you ruined the whole damn thing!’”
I think you could tell with Jackie Brown that he could have tackled it and would have been a love-letter to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s.
Tarantino certainly won’t be making a Marvel Studios film anytime soon given his tension with Disney trying to muscle his movies out of theaters and likely being a giant pain in his ass with being able to screen Disney-owned films at his theater the New Beverly, a growing concern of smaller theaters that rely on screening older movies.
Would you have watched a Luke Cage movie directed by Quentin Tarantino and do you think Laurence Fishburne would have been the right casting choice?
SOURCE: 3 GIRLS, 1 KEITH PODCAST