CBT’s Warriors Three Cast: Iron Fist & Luke Cage
After a bit of a hiatus (almost two months!), Comic Book Therapy’s Warriors Three are back to tackle yet another role, or in this case two roles, for an up coming comic book adaptation. Not long ago, Marvel surprised a lot of fans when they announced that they’d struck a deal with Netflix to produce several new series. Even more surprising was the group of characters they chose to bring to the small screen. The first character to show up will be Dardevil, in a series penned by Drew Goddard, followed by Jessica Jones. Iron Fist will show up next, with Luke Cage rounding things out. All of this will lead to a Defenders mini-series that will bring all four of these character together. I don’t know about you, but I’m tickled a pretty shade of pink for this whole thing. Of course, Marvel has said that should these characters prove to be a hit, they could very likely be moved to the silver screen.
For our latest casting venture, we’ll be first taking on the latter of the foursome in Iron Fist and Luke Cage. There has been rumblings for some time now about both of these characters showing up in the Marvel universe, so there have been quite a few suggestions as to who should fill the roles, and you’ll see several of them listed below. Take a look at who the Warriors Three have suggested for these two highly anticipated characters!
Jake: My top choice to play Iron Fist would have to be Milo Ventimiglia. Seems like a cop-out choice because people are always putting him up for roles like this, that includes Nightwing. However, I like him more as Iron Fist because I see more Danny Rand in him than Dick Grayson. He has a good build for the character, and while his work on Heroes was great, it was his work in Rocky Balboa that got me to like him as an actor.
Cody: This isn’t a bad choice. I just think he may be better suited for a DC hero. I couldn’t pick one off the top of my head, but when I look at him I just feel like he has a very ‘DC’ look. If he did land the role I wouldn’t be upset though. He would be a good younger, edgier, Danny Rand.
Josh: No matter what role I see him in, all I see is Peter from Heroes- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as he played the role well. He’s got the build as well as the look and I won’t be surprised to see him land a role in a comic book movie at some time. But I agree with Cody, I see him as more a DC guy and, not to be generic, but he’d make a killer Nightwing.
Cody: My pick for Danny “Iron Fist” Rand is Mr. Ray Park. His name has been thrown around for the Iron Fist movie for about as long as there has been talk of an Iron First movie, but I truly do think he’s the perfect man for the role. Park is trained in Northern Shaolin Kun Fu, kickboxing, and wushu so he definitely has that part down. With this being a Netflix series (with the possibility of a movie later) I think they will go with somewhat unconventional choices. Park could be a slightly older Danny Rand and then the origin story parts could be handled through flashbacks in the first episode. These series’ most likely won’t be full origin stories. I expect we’ll get the origins in bits and pieces but the shows will explore already established characters. Park is 39, so he’s right in that Marvel actor sweet spot. The youngest Avenger is Chris Hemsworth at 30 with the oldest being Downey Jr. at 48. Park can definitely handle the stunts and fights and he could be around for a good long while. He commanded the screen in G.I. Joe as Snake Eyes and he didn’t even say a word. That could be translated to Danny Rand exceptionally well.
Josh: For no other reason than his vast skills as a martial arts expert, I think Park is perfect for the role. He’s shown numerous times that there are few better in that aspect. However, there’s a reason why a lot of his roles have no speaking parts. The few times when he does have actual lines, he’s very emotionless and not captivating at all. Don’t believe me? Go watch Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever. (yes, this is partially where my Twitter handle comes from). Age is not an issue for me when you have those skills to back it up.
Jake: Ray Park is talented at what he does. My only reservation with what he does though is that he never really has speaking parts. The only one that I have really seen him have is Toad in X-Men and he wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t great. Could it work? Yeah, but in my opinion there is better people out there for it acting wise
Josh: For Iron Fist, I’ve gone my normally obscure direction and chosen Theo Rossi. For fans of the hit series Sons of Anarchy, you know him as the ever present and faithful (unless you’re Clay) Juice. Rossi has a very humble and laid-back air about him, which is fitting for Danny Rand, as he is the type of character that “goes with the flow.” But when it comes down to it, he means business. I think if you were to combine this with the straight-forwardness of the Juice character, you’d have a great fit. Rossi has a very lean build, one suitable for a martial arts expert. I don’t believe he has much experience in that field, but I’ve seen some actors pick up on that pretty quickly.
Cody: I don’t watch the motorcycles show, so my Rossi knowledge is limited. Doing a quick bit of research about him and his roles I think he could pull it off. He may be too much of an oddball choice though. It’s hard to gauge Iron Fist casting well because he and Luke Cage go hand in hand so much. They’ll start out on their own but will eventually team up with Netflix. Most I can say is leave Rossi on the table for now.
Jake: I have to admit in full disclosure I have no idea about Theo Rossi. I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy so I have no references of his work. After a quick Google Image search I turned up that, yeah he looks he part. So with no other references other than that I could be on board with the choice. But I might change my mind once the series starts and I see how he acts.
Luke Cage was a little tougher for me to come by. I did find him though in the form of Morris Chestnut. Chestnut has thrown his name out there for Black Panther, but I think he is far better suited for Power Man. While he isn’t overly muscular, don’t get me wrong he is well defined, it wouldn’t take much for him to get that way, and he has the frame to support it. His recent work in Kick-Ass 2 was a really good showing of his acting and how he can pull it off.
Cody: He definitely looks like a slightly less ripped version of Luke Cage as he appears in the comics now. I could see him pulling it off. He’s a good actor. I think he may be better used by Marvel in the eventual Black Panther film, not as the title characters, but one of the top tier supporting Wakandan characters.
Josh: The only project I’ve seen Chestnut in was American Horror Story. The part wasn’t a major one, but he showed up in a few episodes and I can agree he made the most of the screen time he did have. I think with this starting out as a Netflix series, it’d give him the time he’d need to find his groove and (hopefully) take the role to the big screen. As weird as it sounds, I wonder if he may be too pretty (?) for the role. Don’t know, he just seems to have a higher class look, not a “from the streets” look.
Cody: My choice for Luke Cage has and will always be Terry Crews. He’s said he’s not big on Luke Cage, but he never said it was because of the character. He thought Marvel had no plans for the Hero for Hire. Crews has established himself as an action hero and a pretty funny guy. He’s working on Brooklyn Nine-Nine currently, so he’s open for TV jobs. Crews could translate his energy well into Luke Cage, and he’s built like the proverbial brick outhouse. I’ve always seen Crews when I think of Cage, so his own TV show and possibly a movie later on would be a perfect vehicle for Crews. He’s 45, but this is the one person I don’t think age is a factor for. The guy can handle himself.
Josh: Again, based on looks and skill alone, Crews is a perfect fit. He’s proven with The Expendables that he can do action without a problem and he’s one of the stand-outs on Brooklyn Nine-Nine (that’s not saying too much though). I agree with Jake though, in that I think he’s too obvious, even more so than my choice. No matter the reason, he’s said Cage isn’t his cup of tea, so I wonder if he’d be up for it if they talked with him.
Jake: Terry Crews is the obvious choice for Luke Cage. Sorry Cody, but you have no imagination and would last two seconds in Never Land. All kidding aside, I think most people, myself included, wouldn’t mind seeing Crews take on the part. He obviously has the build for the part, not the strongest actor, but could get the job done.
Josh: Now, in regards to Luke Cage, I’ve gone a bit more main-stream with Mr. Old Spice himself, Isaiah Mustafa. This guy came on the scene with a bang in those rather hilarious commercials. Not long after, he pretty much started his own campaign to play the role of Luke Cage, releasing a teaser trailer with him starring. He’s got the size and, with a bit of work, the skills to pull it off. Not to mention the ability to tap into his humor for that “buddy cop” aspect that this pair will likely have at one point. He’s done some big screen work, but is not a big star, much like Rossi, so for the pair to jump to a Netflix series is not too far out of the question.
Cody: My only concern about Mustafa being Luke Cage is that he did indeed start a fan campaign for the role. Can you name an actor who started a campaign to get a role actually get the role? More and more lately it seems like that’s the one surefire way to not get the role. Recently all of those things have backfired. There was a brouhaha recently about the aforementioned Morris Chestnut and Black Panther. Other than that I think he would indeed be a good fit. Maybe the fact this will start out as a Netflix series will break that whole fan campaign curse.
Jake: Isaiah Mustafa is an obvious choice too, but not as obvious as Crews so I give the edge to you Joshua. Mustafa has some good comedic timing which would serve him well in the Marvel Universe where they like to ham it up from time to time. But other than the Old Spice commercials, his body of work has been limited. But this could be the thing he needs to jump start his career. So I say, why the hell not.
Well comic book fans, do any of these actors stand out to you as a good fit? The Luke Cage choices are pretty straight forward, but the options for Danny Rand are a bit more spread out, with none of them actually fitting the character description. Is that something that is important to you? An actor with brown hair playing a character that is supposed to be blond? Sound off below, who do you think should fill these roles? Work should begin on them soon, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to see who Marvel chooses for the parts.
Also, stayed tuned for our take on the other two character that will be featured in the Netflix series, Jessica Jones and the Man Without Fear, Daredevil!