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7 Amazing Actors Who Should Play Netflix's Luke Cage

Netflix has partnered with Marvel to produce four original series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. We're most excited about Luke Cage. He's arguably the most popular minority superhero in American comics. To save money, Marvel will most likely go with a relatively unknown actor, but let's play casting agent for a moment. Here are our dream picks for Luke Cage, as well as the pros and cons for each.

7. Chad Coleman

Luke Cage, Source: Marvel; Chad Coleman, Source: AMC
Pro: Best known for Tyreese on Walking Dead, Coleman's publicly stated in 2013 that he wants to play Luke Cage...and did a great version of Cage's catchphrase "Sweet Christmas." Rumor has it that his role on Walking Dead was increased to give him visibility to play the role. He has a powerful physique, and also showed great acting skills in The Wire. Yet he's not exactly a household name, which means he'd probably be affordable for Marvel.
Con: His lack of mainstream popularity might be his only downside. That and his role on an ongoing TV series might make it hard for him to schedule shooting for another TV series.

6. Isaiah Mustafa

Isaiah Mustafa, Source: Same
Pro: Mustafa is strong, handsome, and has been one of the most vocal black actors about playing Luke Cage. He was so eager to play the role that he created an unofficial teaser with himself as Luke Cage. That led to a meeting with Marvel. I say that kind of dedication should be rewarded.
Con: Luke Cage is principally known as a strongman, and Mustafa isn't that muscular right now. Of course, if Jake Gyllenhaal can get buff enough to play an action hero, anyone can. But can he get big enough to convincingly play a guy who can punch through steel with his bare hands? Also, he's known primarily as Old Spice's "Man Your Man Can Smell Like," and hasn't done much else in terms of acting. Can he carry a TV series? Watch his teaser and decide.

5. Tyrese Gibson

Tyrese Gibson, Source: Unknown; Luke Cage, Source: Marvel
Pro: Tyrese has charisma and style, and a classy bald head. When John Singleton was developing a feature film on Cage, Tyrese Gibson was his pick to play the role. Singleton even met with Gibson and told him to bulk up for it. So Tyrese seems like a lock on the role.
Con: Gibson doesn't have much of an imposing presence, and he really does need to work out. Also, given his previous projects like Fast and Furious, he's not that great an actor. Plus, the fact that Gibson was already a contender for the movie role means they'll probably look elsewhere for the TV show. That's just how Hollywood works.

4. Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White, Source: Unknown; Same; Luke Cage, Source: Marvel
Pro: White is a real bad-axe. He's buff with keenly honed martial arts skills. He's already played some iconic geek roles including Spawn, Bronze Tiger on Arrow, and Mortal Kombat's Jax. He has a lot of experience in television and is really hardcore when he wants to be, and he's not a major star to the point where he would be expensive. Playing Luke Cage would be one of his biggest roles yet.
Con: Honestly, not too many downsides on this, except that he might not be available to do the part. Other than that, I think he'd be a shoo-in.

3. Idris Elba

Idris Elba, Source: Warner Bros; Luke Cage, Source: Marvel
Pro: Elba is another name that comes up often when discussing Luke Cage. Elba has a powerful screen presence, even covered in armor as the watchman Heimdall on Thor. Apparently, he even held talks with Marvel to play the role, which is more than most of the people on this list can publicly say.
Con: Since he already plays Heimdall, some people (including the brass at Marvel) might object to him playing another Marvel character. He'd also have to bulk up pretty hard for the role.

2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Dwayne Johnson, Source: Unknown; Luke Cage, Source: Marvel
Pro: With his latest Fast and Furious movie, Johnson is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He's certainly one of the most famous muscleheads in Tinseltown, and also one of the most high-profile minority actors working today. When it comes to Luke Cage, Johnson's name always appears on any list. No less than Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige endorsed him as Luke Cage. Johnson responded by Twitter saying he'd be up for it.
Con: The biggest problem with Johnson is that he's expensive. With his roles in the Fast and Furious franchise, he's hotter than ever. Marvel probably wouldn't want to pay the money he would demand to play this role. Um, and not to pull the race card, but Johnson isn't entirely black. His father is African-Canadian and his mother is Samoan. That's not to say he couldn't pull a Halle Berry, but it's just something to consider.

1. Terry Crews

Terry Crews, Source: AP; Luke Cage, Source: Marvel
Pro: When it comes to Hollywood, there are only a small handful of actors with huge muscles who can actually act. Terry Crews is definitely one of them. Known for his comedic skills as well as powerful physique, Terry could bring a humorous but still hardcore interpretation of the character.
Con: Some have argued his age at 45 rules him out. But his age could work if they go with the original chronology, and say he got his powers in the 1970's, and the procedure slowed the aging process. Oh, but there is the small matter of Crews publicly saying he doesn't want to play Luke Cage. So there's that. But he recently changed mind. Let's see if he changes it again.

Who do you think would be the best Luke Cage? Any other actors you would throw into the ring?

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  1. Elba might be too mature for the role, but I think White could pull it off.

  2. They could probably all work though Elba and the Rock are probably too expensive for TV

  3. I'd watch any of them except Elba - too refined to play the street smart Cage - or The Rock - just not right for the role.

  4. My choice would be Rockmond Dunbar, who played C-Note in Prison Break, a perfect modern template for the character. Of course, I was also going to suggest Nicolas Cage...

  5. I never thought of Dunbar, he would be cool. Nicolas Cage would be interesting, especially considering the black Johnny Storm.

  6. Could it be that Elba is too well-spoken? Interesting point.

  7. Yeah, them and Terry Crews are probably the least likely

  8. My first thought was Terry, just for his muscles and Old Spice!

  9. I never thought about Michael Jai White or Chad Coleman. either one of them would be awesome.

    Chad could be killed off at any time so you never know when his schedule might "free up" lol

  10. Michael Jai White has already been affiliated with other comic book franchises as well as other "pop" characters. Everyone knows he can be the tough guy. I'd like to see someone more unexpected in this role.

    Terry Crews would add humor to the role, but I think I'd like a younger Cage.

    "The Rock"- no. Let him stay busy doing all his other stuff. (I'm a fan , but no.)

    Idris Elba could play any role and I'd love it, but same goes for him. I'd like Cage to be, or at least, look younger...Maybe he could be Black Panter. :D

  11. Elba would be awesome as Black Panther!

  12. My dream team would Michael Jai White for Luke Cage and Ty Fleming for Iron fist! If you don't know Ty Fleming look him up @BigTyDiesel. The only issue is Fleming is 6'2 (Or bigger) he would be a couple inches taller than White. Since that would be an issue use WWE's Shad Gaspard as Luke Cage who stands about 6'8. I believe Gaspard is campaigning for the part?

  13. This is Ty! He's apparently up for He-Man in Sony's new Masters of the Universe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSpMD2a-cos

  14. The first people I thought of when I think of Luke Cage, is Michael Jai White and Terry Crews. They're both awesome for the role. I'm leaning more towards Michael though


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