John Singleton is a pretty decent director. He’s done a couple of ass awful films, but he’s also done some exceptional ones as well. He’s talented enough of a filmmaker that it got a bunch of people pretty excited when it was announced that he was attached to helm the screen adaptation of the comic book hero Luke Cage (Hero for Hire). But since the announcement that Singleton was attached, nothing has really happened. Why?
Well, Singleton is suggesting that the reason the project isn’t moving faster is because of racism. The folks over at ComicBookMovie give us the following:
QUESTION: Next directing projects?
John Singleton: I don’t know if I’m doing Luke Cage. I want to do Luke Cage.
QUESTION: Frustrated with development?
John Singleton: Yeah. For me, the guy’s a hero. I’ve been wanting to do the movie since I was a kid and I’m not going to do it unless it’s right.
QUESTION: With all the comic book movies, why haven’t they jumped on?
John Singleton: Well, because it’s a black superhero and so studios still, some studios, don’t understand that yeah, it is a black superhero but so what? He’s a superhero. That hasn’t been done yet. Like I said, unless it’s right, I ain’t gonna do it.
Personally I think Singleton is WAY OFF and needs to keep three things in mind before making comments like that.
First of all, Hollywood has explored and embraced Black superheroes a few times. Storm and Blade are a couple that come to mind. So one can’t say studios aren’t willing to try a hero just because they’re black or white.
Secondly, keep in mind that the vast majority of Superhero movies are based on OLD comics from an age when most of the heroes were indeed white. I think that’s more of a commentary on those times than today’s times. The proven and established comic books come from a time when the characters where predominantly white, so you can’t hold it against the studios today for using those characters whey they have the name brand.
Thirdly, Luke Cage isn’t exactly a popular character. Look what happened when they went and did a movie on Elektra! It was an unmitigated disaster of huge proportions. This more than anything else is probably what’s making studios hesitant to give the big green light to a project. Superhero movies are expensive to make man, and if you can’t guarantee a return on that huge investment, then who is going to take the risk?