It doubtless comes as little surprise to anyone that Quentin Tarantino is big on Luke Cage. Marvel’s answer to John Shaft—introduced in his own Hero For Hire series in 1972—would seem to land dead center of the Venn diagram of the filmmaker’s interests. What is somewhat shocking, though, is the news that Tarantino considered adapting the comic book character for the screen in the early ’90s. And as cool as that certainly would have been, it would likely have meant the non-existence of a kind of important film.
“I’m a huge fan,” Tarantino told Yahoo last year during a press junket for The Hateful Eight. “I had even considered, after Reservoir Dogs, doing a Luke Cage movie. But I ended up doing Pulp Fiction instead. So I think I might have made the right choice.”
Although Pulp Fiction was a great (and significant) follow-up, Tarantino obviously never got the black superhero idea out of his system. This probably accounts for why we have Django Unchained today—and The Hateful Eight for that matter. Still, it’s fun to imagine what it might have been like. And, as Tarantino puts it, his version probably wouldn’t have borne much resemblance to Netflix’s groundbreaking series, which just started streaming. “Well, frankly, to tell you the truth, I might be one of the pains in their asses because I love the way the character was presented so much in the ’70s,” Tarantino explained when asked his thoughts on the show [before it wrapped production]. “I’m not really that open to a rethinking on who he was. I just think that first issue, that origin issue…was so good, and it was really Marvel’s attempt to try to do a blaxploitation movie vibe as one of their superhero comics. And I thought they nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. So, just take that Issue 1 and put it in script form and do that.”