Derek Luke’s ‘Captain America’ Role Revealed

It’s been known for a while that Derek Luke had been cast in Captain America: The First Avenger, but it was unclear what role he’d be playing — until now. It’s recently been revealed that Luke will be playing the part of Gabe Jones, part of the elite WWII Howling Commandos squadron. Read more after the jump.

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New ‘Captain America’ Photos

Marvel Entertainment has released a new batch of photos from Joe Johnston‘s big screen adaptation of Captain America: The First Avenger. Some of these photos have appeared in magazines (which may have appeared scanned online), but others are completely new. All of them are high resolution. Hit the jump to see all seven of the new photos right now.

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Notorious Teaser Trailer

The teaser trailer for Fox Searchlight’s Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious is exactly what you would expect. A lot of fast cuts to the old school music Biggie. Is there any chance this film might be good? Leave your comments below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/notorious.flv 470 254]

Official Plot Synopsis
: Notorious tells the story of the life of rapper Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.  The film stars multiple award winner Angela Bassett as Christopher’s mother Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean Combs, Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur and introducing Jamal Woolard as The Notorious B.I.G.  After the overwhelming response to a year long aggressive and active worldwide search, Jamal Woolard, a Brooklyn native, was selected to portray the infamous rapper.  Notorious is directed by George Tillman Jr.

In just a few short years, The Notorious B.I.G. rose from the streets of Brooklyn to become one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time.  B.I.G. was a gifted storyteller; his narratives about violent life on the streets were told with a gritty, objective realism that won him enormous respect and credibility.  His stories were universal and gave a voice to his generation.

Notorious hits theaters on January 16th 2009.

Rumor: Will Smith Offered Captain America

UPDATE: So, Harry Knowles says there is no truth to the rumor. Ohlalala. I do think Luke’s quote is trivial, but we’ll see…

Not much to go on, but during an interview with MTV, actor Derek Luke (Miracle at St. Anna) said that “[Marvel] offered Will Smith Captain America” and added that “it just shows you how times have changed.” Other actors recently rumored for the Marvel character include Matthew McConaughey (thankfully, not happening) and Brad Pitt (who’s also been mentioned for Thor).

Entitled The First Avenger: Captain America and set for a May 6th, 2011 release—just weeks before The Avengers—Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige, confirmed over the summer that the film will be a WWII period epic. On a recent /Filmcast, I was the only one who thought this movie would not underperform at the box office, believing it possessed similar potential to Iron Man. And compared to Superman—a character that’s even more alien in the context of today’s blockbusters and trendy manchild masculinity—Captain America seems like a smarter cinematic outlet to address the current political climate and state of the nation for a wide audience.

As for Smith in the role, I think it could work. He has the iconic stature down, and is generally seen as an all-American everyman a la Tom Hanks. Of course, this is where I’m supposed to blabber on about race and if it would be accepted by the mainstream, but personally, I think it’s lame and pointless to do so. “It just shows you how times have changed.” Maybe if you’re 30+, but I disagree with that statement per casting a film like this. I grew up watching this dude on TV after school (I’m not doing the theme song, don’t worry). Smith is one of the most successful actors of all time, why would he not be up for the part? Because it’s not Black Panther or a Green Lantern or Blade or an alcoholic superhero who flies? Laughable.

Discuss: Will Smith for Captain America (not just Isaiah Bradley)? Some commenters are equating the hypothetical casting to reeinvisionist history. Agree? And Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee, please sit out on this comment sesh, thanks.

To the reader who emailed me, no, I do not think my laughing at Candyman being recast as a white guy is hypocritical. Ha. Candyman was the son of a slave who was tortured for his relations with the white daughter of a plantation owner. Different.

Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna Movie Trailer

Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna

Spike Lee’s big screen adaptation of James McBride’s Miracle at St. Anna chronicles the story of four black American soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped in a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The film deals with the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre, but is structured with a Titanic/Saving Private Ryan flashback plot device involving a priceless Italian artifact, which is discovered in a murderer’s closet. The sculpted head from Ponte Santa Trinita, valued at $5 million, is a clue to a mystery that began 39 years earlier, when the soldiers found themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

Miracle at St. Anna stars Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Matteo Sciabordi, John Leguizamo, and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Judging from the trailer, Spike Lee might be heading for an Oscar nomination with this one. Tell me what you think in the comments below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/miracleatstanna.flv 470 200]

You can watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna will hit theaters on September 26th 2008.

Notorious

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has a first look photo of Derek Luke as Sean “P-Diddy” Combs and Jamal Woolard as Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) in Fox Searchlight’s upcoming biopic Notorious, which hits theaters on January 16th 2009. Looks authentic enough to me, but will the movie be worth watching?

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