The truth about the five Marvel Studios Netflix series [Daredevil](series:1168702), [Iron Fist](movie:6462), Jessica Jones, [Luke Cage](series:1168785), and the Defenders is that their total budget adds up to be 200 million dollars which gives each show about an average of 40 million for development, and approximately 3 million per episode! With DC Comics' TV show [Arrow](series:720988) paying their star Stephen Amell only (yeah, right, 'only') 30k an episode, Marvel is sure to be able to afford MUCH more, which could pull in some pretty amazing actors and actresses for each of the shows!
With development quickly progressing, it will be time to start signing contracts for actors to play the parts fairly soon! One of the big comic book sellers is either going to make or break based upon how well they cast the Luke Cage character. Daredevil & Iron Fist have masks the majority of the time so they can get away with a lot more when casting him, but Luke Cage is one who you either picked a good actor for or you didn't. It's wrong, or it's right. Here are a handful of the actors I think could potentially pull the character off and make a great series!
The order of the actors has no correlation to my personal preference.
#1: Lance Gross
Lance is definitely a more unusual choice for the role than the rest of the actors I've chosen. Despite the fact that he has more muscle than 90% of the world, he would still have to put on another forty+ pounds of pure muscle for the role. The reason why I have him included on this list? Because to play such an iconic role for as much money as we're potentially going to have on the table - I think he would be willing to, and more than capable of packing on the lean pounds! We saw the transformation Chris Pratt went through! This guy could easily go from great to greatest they way Pratt went from couch potato to lean, mean muscle-man!
Possibly one of the best reasons to choose someone like Lance is not just because his looks fit the part, but also because his looks can manipulate people to believe he's anywhere from 21 to 31 just based on his facial hair and clothing style that day. This would allow for him to play Luke Cage during the time that the main storyline takes place as well as fill his role in flashbacks and origin story segments which are huge pieces to the story!
#2: Morris Chestnut
In my opinion, Morris Chestnut is the man who looks the absolute most like Luke Cage. This man is built to be Luke Cage, but to me his acting style doesn't seem to be the best match for the character. To pull off Cage, you have to be willing to show off some pretty extreme emotions, specifically rage and anger because they are defining drives for the character
Fortunately, if you have the looks, acting styles can be easily adapted! In fact, most of his roles have required this kind of an emotional challenge, so he may have the ability to pull it off just fine! Maybe he just hasn't had a role to show off that ability yet. And since changing acting style is usually a much more flexible job than trying to adapt someone's looks and body, this would be the way I went. There's not a doubt in the world that he could pull off the character and completely satisfy fans of the comic book!
#3: Terry Crews
Yeah, yeah, I know! I'm going to get a ton of disapproval over this one. Everybody knows Terry has an appearance that could potentially pull off the part. Unfortunately, because of his acting career heavily based in some of the funniest comedies ever (I'm looking at you, White Chicks), seeing him in a serious role is a bit hard to imagine. There's no question about if he could do it though! No, no, the real question is if the audience could accept him as a legitimate Luke Cage?
#4: Mike Colter
Mike Colter has starred in [Men in Black 3](movie:32295), [Zero Dark Thirty](movie:332744), and Angelina Jolie's Salt, so there's no question as to if he can play a serious role or handle the pressure of such a major production! For Mike, it all really depends on how much he's willing to emotionally push into this specific role. To really capture Luke Cage the way he's meant to be you have to go all in and very few actors can push themselves to that breaking point. Colter has the looks down for it! Now the question remaining is if he can accomplish that type of character?!
#5: Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White is one I just had to include in the list. With rumors circling of White possibly in talks for the role (despite neither he nor Marvel ever confirming any talks), and Michael's brute strength and ability - he is definitely the current front-runner for the part, whether fans are happy about it or not! Michael has already expressed an interest in playing the part, which in the Hollywood world is an open invitation to contact his manager and organize a meeting for some contracts! Could Michael be our Power Man?!