WARNING: The following contains no major plot SPOILERS for Marvel and Netflix's newly released Luke Cage, but does feature some discussion of its general tone and content, and how they differ from the original 1970s comic books. Proceed with whatever level of caution suggests to you is wise...
Adaptation has always been a tricky business. Whether you're bringing a classic novel to the screen for the first time, reviving an old-school fan favorite for the modern day, or even simply trying to translate a classic comic book character on Netflix, it's inevitably impossible to keep everyone happy. Adhere too closely to the original, and you risk alienating new audiences, but steer too far from it, and you can't help but anger hardcore fans. In other words? At the end of the day, someone is going to be pissed off with you, no matter what.
With Netflix's newly released (and notably fantastic) Marvel series Luke Cage, however, it seems that one of the hardcore fans to take issue with the show's adaptation is a pretty darned famous face.
Quentin Tarantino Has A Big Issue With The New 'Luke Cage' Series
Or, at least, he did last year. That, after all, was when Tarantino — still perhaps most famous for his first two films, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but most recently behind The Hateful Eight — revealed his thoughts on Luke Cage. And as it turns out, Tarantino had one big issue with the new show, telling Yahoo! Movies:
"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. 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 blacksploitation 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."
Which, of course, isn't the show that Marvel and Netflix opted to make, with Luke Cage firmly updating the hero for the modern era, and featuring far more of his modern comic book nuances than his 1970s portrayal took the time to. Many fans, myself included, would argue that such an interpretation was both necessary and hugely beneficial, with Luke Cage's modern sensibility and present-day relevance being key parts of what makes it great.
Tarantino, though, may well now be regretting that he didn't make a blaxploitation-style take on the character while he had the chance. After all, it seems he came close to making precisely that movie back in the early 1990s:
"I’m a huge fan. I had even considered, after Reservoir Dogs, doing a Luke Cage movie. But I ended up doing Pulp Fiction instead. So I think I might have made the right choice."
Fans of Pulp Fiction — and the new Luke Cage series — seem likely to agree with him.
Watch Season 1 of Luke Cage on Netflix now. In the meantime, what do you reckon? Would you have rather seen a Tarantino-style throwback show than the Luke Cage we got? Let us know below!