Posted on Monday, May 30th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
What is the origin of this teaser trailer in which Old Spice pitchman Isaiah Mustafa plays Marvel hero Luke Cage? We know that Marvel Studios has talked about making a Luke Cage film, but this is not a trailer for that movie. This is, in effect, a trailer for a film that doesn’t exist. So did Isaiah Mustafa conjure this up on his own, or is there some other force at work?
Check out the teaser below and start talking about whether he seems right for the part.
We see this sort of thing once in a while; recall the time that Thomas Jane created a photo of himself as Jonah Hex to campaign for the lead in that film, which eventually went to Josh Brolin. Bullet dodged there, right, Thomas Jane?
Isaiah Mustafa has been even more vocal in his desire to play Luke Cage. (Saying last year, “I’ve already had a meeting with Marvel. I talked to them and I told them that I was a gracious reader of their comics and that I wanted to be Luke Cage. So we’ll see where they take it.”) So I would be tempted to think that this teaser was paid for out of his pocket.
This clip doesn’t quite convince me that he’s the guy for the role. Part of it is the nature of the clip itself — there are things that a more seriously-budgeted film could do to make anyone look huge that aren’t done on this scale. So this Luke cage doesn’t look as big or powerful as I’d like him to be. But a ‘real’ movie could take care of some of that. More problematic, there’s a bit of smug self-awareness in Mustafa’s face in more than one shot — that blows it for me.
As for the character, Luke Cage, also called Power Man, was wrongly imprisoned as a youth, and underwent an experimental treatment to secure early parole. The treatment was meant to create full immunity to illness; instead it ended up enhancing the strength of Cage’s skin and musculature. He became a sort of superhero private detective, and was one of the first black heroes to get his own book.