Luke Cage

As Marvel preps their first Netflix TV show, Daredevil, fans are already looking toward the other four shows: Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, with them all leading to The Defenders. It’s a unique time for each of those properties, as each has yet to cast anyone. Actors big and small are eyeing and vying for some of the leads.

One actor who’s both big and small has now put his hat into the ring to play Cage. His name is Mars Crain and while you may not have heard of him, he’s a hulk of a man, easily the personification of Cage. He got his start in Will Smith’s Hancock and was recently cast by Paul Thomas Anderson for his upcoming film, Inherent Vice. Crain seems poised to break out. To help facilitate that career upswing, he’s made a sizzle reel showing off his desire to play Cage for the Netflix show. Check out the Mars Crain Luke Cage video below.

Thanks to Comic Book Movie for the heads up.

I mean, Crain definitely has the physicality and look to play Cage. But has one of these reels ever actually worked?

Also, it’s hard to actually tell if Crain can act from this video, right? Well, YouTube to the rescue. A CBM commenter found this video of Crain doing scenes from John Q, Training Day and Be Cool. It seems like he’s got some chops.

Not bad right? Well, Cage is a role many many famous actors have said they’d love to play so it’s certainly going to be competitive. Maybe this reel gives Crain an edge.

Here’s the latest info on the Defenders TV shows, from a press release a few months back revealing all filming on the shows will take place in New York City.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, The Walt Disney Company, Marvel and Netflix Inc. today announced that Marvel’s landmark live-action television series, which will bring Marvel’s “flawed heroes of Hell’s Kitchen” characters to Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, will principally film in New York State. Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking series is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action television storytelling and represents the largest film or television production project commitment in New York State history.

Filming is set to begin in the Summer 2014 and will create at least three thousand jobs in New York State including up to 400 full time jobs. The project will include nearly 60 one-hour episodes focused on the 4 Defenders characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

“New York is where the entertainment industry started, and this unprecedented commitment from Disney and Marvel is further evidence that we’re bringing it back bigger and better than ever before,” said Governor Cuomo. “And when the entertainment industry thrives, it fuels dozens of other industries and businesses. The competition for these projects is fierce and Disney could have chosen to film these shows anywhere, but they knew that shooting in New York means getting to work with the best in world. These shows bring New York’s super heroes home where they belong–along with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new business.”

“Since 2008 Disney has directly contributed almost half a billion dollars to New York’s economy through television and film production, along with approximately 9,000 jobs for New Yorkers,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “The Governor’s policies make this great state a more affordable and attractive location, opening the door for even greater economic investment and job creation for New Yorkers. Our Marvel series for Netflix will inject millions directly into the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs.”

“We thank the Governor and the great state of New York for helping us create the ultimate backdrop to this epic series. Setting our production in New York City truly underscores the authenticity and excitement we plan to bring to The Defenders and their ‘flawed heroes of Hell’s Kitchen’ stories,” said Alan Fine, President, Marvel Entertainment.

Last November, Disney and Netflix announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs totaling 52 one-hour episodes culminating in a four to eight episode mini-series programming event. Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking viewers deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a mini-series event in which the Marvel characters from the first four series team up as “The Defenders,” much like “The Avengers.”

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm.

“The Defenders are classic New York characters; smart, resourceful and tough enough to always stand up for what’s right,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “We’re delighted they’re coming to life on their home turf thanks to Governor Cuomo and his team.”

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