Isaiah Mustafa, the actor best known for a series of Old Spice commercials — “Hello, ladies” — kicked off a campaign in July to play Luke Cage in the long-discussed movie adaptation. But now it looks as if the self-proclaimed “comic junkie” has taken matters a step or two further.
“I’ve already had a meeting with Marvel,” Mustafa tells Superhero Hype. “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.”
Paramount Pictures acquired the film rights to Luke Cage in 2003, with John Singleton attached to direct and Tyrese Gibson frequently mentioned for the lead role. However, since then at least two target release dates have come and gone with no movie materializing. The rights have now reverted back to Marvel, which apparently sees a future for the character on television or on the big screen.
“They have something in mind, I think, and I definitely want them to see that I’m extremely passionate about it,” the actor tells the website. “I’m extremely passionate about being that character. I will do anything to get that role. It strikes me. It’s very personal to me. I hold onto it. It’s something that I desire more than just about anything that I can think of right now, as far as work goes.”
But what’s so appealing about the street-smart youth turned Hero for Hire turned Avenger?
“Luke Cage has a lot going on. He’s this man, he’s got all these powers and abilities and he can use them to save whatever major city, but instead of doing that he uses them to help Harlem,” Mustafa says. “He wants to fix his neighborhood, and that’s what’s so admirable to me. Instead of leaving and going someplace bigger, he stays right where he needs to be and tries to do the best that they can.”