Over the years, a number of actors have campaigned to play the Marvel superhero, whose powers include unbreakable skin. None more so than Isaiah Mustafa—aka the guy from the Old Spice TV ads—who made a fan trailer with him as the star and appeared in a Marvel-produced spoof.
In the early ’90s, Quentin Tarantino almost made a movie based on his love of the Luke Cage: Hero for Hire comic-book series from the ’70s. His dream casting choice? Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne. When it fell through, he made Pulp Fiction instead.
When aspiring actor (and comic fan) Nicolas Coppola—nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola—changed his surname to prevent claims of nepotism, he chose that of the superhero. As Nic Cage, he went on to play Marvel’s Ghost Rider and, almost, Superman. New series Luke Cage comes to Netflix on September 30.
Luke Cage actually grew up in Harlem. He lived in a pretty rough, high-crime neighborhood. He eventually joined a gang with his best friend, Willis Stryker, to pull off petty crimes like theft, mugging and street-fighting. However, Cage and Stryker soon found themselves moving in different directions, as Luke recognized that his criminal actions were hurting his family and loved ones. Stryker strongly disapproved of this choice and framed Cage with drug possession, which landed him in prison.
Luke Cage was actually born “Carl Lucas“. He took the name “Luke Cage“ when he escaped from prison, after his “botched” experiment had made him more powerful than any guard in his way.