Movie Reviews

Recasting Luke Cage For The MCU: 10 Perfect Actors To Replace Mike Colter After Uncertain Comments

Summary

  • Mike Colter has suggested that he may not reprise the role of Luke Cage in the MCU’s future, leaving Marvel Studios the opportunity to recast the Hero of Harlem.
  • Luke Cage could be a huge character in the MCU’s future, particularly since he ends up leading the Avengers in Marvel Comics, so a new actor needs to represent this bigger role.
  • Ricky Whittle, Trevante Rhodes, Laz Alonso, Y’lan Noel, Aldis Hodge, and Chad L. Coleman, among others, could be perfect at bringing a new Luke Cage into the MCU.



Mike Colter has recently suggested that he may not return as Luke Cage, despite having played the character for four years in Netflix’s Defenders Saga, meaning the popular Hero of Harlem could be recast for the MCU. Mike Colter first appeared as Luke Cage in 2015’s Jessica Jones season 1, before going on to appear in The Defenders, Jessica Jones season 2, and his own two-season series, Luke Cage. Marvel Studios has confirmed the Defenders Saga is canon to the MCU, meaning Mike Colter could return alongside Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, though he may have expressed doubt about this potential future.


While actors such as Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Jon Bernthal, among others, have been confirmed to be reprising their Defenders Saga roles, Finn Jones, Krysten Ritter, and Mike Colter haven’t been revealed to be returning as the Defenders themselves. In fact, Comicbook.com spoke to Mike Colter regarding his possible return as the MCU’s Luke Cage, and though he didn’t deny the possibility, his comments cast uncertainty about his return, especially given his involvement with Paramount+ series Evil. This creates the opportunity for Luke Cage to be recast, however, allowing any number of talented actors to take over the role.

Only if it doesn’t affect my schedule in a way that I can’t do another season of
Evil
. I mean, I would totally entertain a good script and idea that made sense. I don’t stay up at night thinking about it, nor do I recall it unless someone brings it up​​​​​​​. But I enjoyed my time. I don’t look in the past. If something comes up, great, we’ll talk about it. But right now, I’m [past it].


Related

The MCU Finally Has The Perfect Way To Revisit Its Divisive 6-Year-Old Cliffhanger

Kingpin’s evil MCU political plan has the ideal first superhuman target in the form of a Marvel Netflix superhero last seen six years ago.


10 Ricky Whittle

The 100 (2014), American Gods (2017), Land Of Bad (2024)

British actor Ricky Whittle may be little-known at the moment, but his prominent roles in The CW’s The 100 and Starz series American Gods have proven that he would be capable of delivering a powerful and layered depiction of Luke Cage in the MCU. Whittle joined British soap opera Hollyoaks in 2006, but departed the show in 2011 and relocated to the United States to expand his repertoire. Since then, he has starred in comedies, mystery dramas, and fantasy projects, so a role in the MCU could be the perfect next step.


Marvel Studios has often taken lesser-known actors and transformed them into household names, so casting Ricky Whittle as Luke Cage could repeat this brilliant pattern. His leading role of Shadow Moon in American Gods allowed Whittle to demonstrate a vulnerability and strength that mirrors Luke Cage’s. Whittle’s growing career could see an incredible boost by joining the MCU.

9 John Boyega

Attack The Block (2011), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

John Boyega in the street in They Killed Tyrone

John Boyega has been vocal over the years about his resistance to assuming a role in the MCU, wanting instead to focus his career on more nuanced roles and indie films. This was revisited after fans suggested he could replace Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, with British actor Boyega noting that he certainly wouldn’t. However, Boyega being offered a role such as Luke Cage, who has a huge cultural influence in the MCU and beyond, could change his mind.


After appearing in 2011’s Attack the Block, John Boyega achieved huge acclaim. He had his international breakthrough starring as Finn, a former Stormtrooper, in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and has since earned major accolades for roles in Red, White and Blue, Small Axe, The Woman King, and They Killed Tyrone. Boyega has the star power and passion fit for Luke Cage, should he change his mind on the MCU.

2:05

Related

Popular Kang Recast Pick Responded To Fan Campaigns 1 Month Before Marvel Dropped Jonathan Majors

Johnathan Majors is officially out as Kang in the MCU, and one popular fancast to replace him already made it clear he’s not interested.

8 Sope Dirisu

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016), Gangs Of London (2020), Slow Horses (2023)

Sope Dirisu in the rain in Gangs of London


Nigerian-British actor Sope Dirisu is yet another lesser-known actor that Marvel Studios could transform into a major star. Dirisu’s performances in his early feature films, including Sand Castle, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Criminal put him on the map, while he achieved more prominence as Elliot Carter in Sky Atlantic series Gangs of London, and as Sean Donovan in Apple TV+’s Slow Horses, opposite Gary Oldman. Dirisu has a fantastic screen presence, which would make him perfect for a reinvented Luke Cage in the MCU.

In Marvel Comics, Luke Cage becomes a prominent member, and eventual leader, of the Avengers. Sope Dirisu could deliver a power and intensity as Luke Cage, allowing him to fit in among the MCU’s pre-established heroes. Dirisu has been at the center of several MCU fan-casts, including Kang the Conqueror and a new T’Challa, but Luke Cage could be the best fit for the actor.


7 Daveed Diggs

Soul (2020), Snowpiercer (2020), DC League Of Super-Pets (2022)

Daveed Diggs in a beanie covered in snow in Snowpiercer

Actor, rapper, and singer-songwriter Daveed Diggs would perhaps be an unconventional choice for the role of Luke Cage, but his recent stint as Andre Layton in Snowpiercer has proven that he can deliver all the best aspects of the powerful MCU hero. As well as being an original star of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Diggs has appeared in comedies, dramas, and science fiction projects. This range makes him a clear candidate for a role in the MCU, so he could put a fresh spin on Luke Cage.


Daveed Diggs also has experience working in the superhero world, as he voiced Victor Stone’s Cyborg in DC League of Super-Pets, Marshall Zucker in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Theo in Invincible. Yet to appear as a live-action superhero, however, casting Diggs as Luke Cage in the MCU could be polarizing, but could distance the character from Mike Colter’s previous portrayal.

Daveed Diggs was previously rumored to be in the running for the role of Ben Grimm, a.k.a. the Thing, in the MCU’s
The Fantastic Four
reboot, though this role eventually went to Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

6 Shamier Anderson

Wynonna Earp (2016), Invasion (2021), John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Shamier Anderson during an alien invasion in Invasion


Canadian actor Shamier Anderson has been a popular fan-cast for the cosmic role of Blue Marvel in the MCU, but he would also be a fantastic match for a new version of Luke Cage. Anderson began his acting career with a number of small roles in series and television movies, but rose to prominence with roles including Xavier Dolls in Wynonna Earp, Dario Blackwood in Goliath, and Mr. Nobody in John Wick: Chapter 4 alongside Keanu Reeves. However, Anderson’s leading role in Apple TV+ series Invasion proves just how brilliant he could be as Luke Cage.

In Invasion, Anderson portrayed Trevante Cole, a United States Navy SEAL who has proven pivotal during the battle against the invading aliens. Trevante shares many traits with Luke Cage, particularly his determination, protective instincts, and willingness to jump into danger, so Shamier Anderson would be an inspired choice for the MCU’s new Luke Cage.

5 Laz Alonso

Avatar (2009), Detroit (2017), The Boys (2019)


Laz Alonso being cast as Luke Cage in the MCU would put a very different spin on his recent superhero career, as Alonso has portrayed the revolutionary member of the Boys, Mother’s Milk, in Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys since 2019. Prior to this starring role, however, Alonso put himself on the map as a star of action and drama projects, including high-profile projects such as Avatar, Fast & Furious, Miracle at St. Anna, Breakout Kings, and Power Book. Alonso’s casting as Luke Cage would bring huge star power to the MCU.

Laz Alonso’s brilliant stoicism would benefit a more sophisticated version of Luke Cage. However, Alonso has also proven capable of showing his characters’ vulnerable sides, and a willingness to get involved in major action sequences. These traits fit Luke Cage perfectly, particularly during his career as an Avenger, so it’d be great to see this in the MCU.


Related

The Boys: Who Each Main Cast Member Could Play In the MCU

The cast of The Boys are all so phenomenal in their roles that it’s exciting to think about which heroes or villains they could take on in the MCU.

4 Y’lan Noel

Insecure (2016), The First Purge (2018), Lady In The Lake (2024)

Y'lan Noel with a gun in The First Purge

Best known for portraying lovable former love interest Daniel King in HBO’s Insecure opposite Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse alum Issa Rae, Y’lan Noel has also demonstrated his ability to deliver more powerful and steadfast performances. Noel’s role in the divisive The First Purge, a prequel to the original 2013 horror flick starring Ethan Hawke, saw him portray the strong and determined Dmitri, who bears similarities to Luke Cage, though had much harder edges. Noel’s acting range proves he’d be perfect for Luke Cage, nevertheless.


As well as appearing in comedy-drama Insecure and action-horror The First Purge, Y’lan Noel has starred in outright comedies and cult horrors, building a varied and exciting repertoire. He is set to appear opposite MCU actor Natalie Portman in Apple TV+’s upcoming series, Lady in the Lake, which will be an important and representative project, containing many of the same powerful themes that Luke Cage represents.

3 Trevante Rhodes

Moonlight (2016), Bird Box (2018), Mike (2022)

Trevante Rhodes at a diner in Moonlight


After appearing as Chiron in the Academy Award-winning Moonlight in 2016, Trevante Rhodes has appeared in a wide range of projects, setting him up perfectly for an MCU role. 12 Strong, Bird Box, The Predator, and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, to name a few, have proven Rhodes’ impressive range. Each of his roles have displayed separate aspects of Luke Cage’s personality, and with some big hits under his belt, being cast in the MCU would be a great next step.

Trevante Rhodes can bring a similar sense of youthfulness to Luke Cage as Mike Colter, allowing him to have a major role in the MCU for years to come. However, he also delivers an intensity and passion into each of his roles that would provide his Luke Cage with an old soul and a sense of wisdom, which fits Marvel Comics’ depiction of Luke Cage to a tee.

Trevante Rhodes has been a popular fan-cast for Jonathan Majors’ replacement as Kang the Conqueror, while there has also been speculation that he could portray John Stewart’s Green Lantern in the DCU’s new
Lanterns
series.


2 Aldis Hodge

Hidden Figures (2016), One Night In Miami… (2020), Black Adam (2022)

Aldis Hodge in a suit in One Night in Miami...

Aldis Hodge has an impressive back catalog, both films and TV shows, dating back to 1995’s Die Hard with a Vengeance, so he could bring some huge star power to the MCU. Hodge deserves superhero redemption, too, following his role of Carter Hall’s Hawkman in 2022’s Black Adam, and casting him as Luke Cage could be the cure. Over the years, Aldis Hodge has proven his charisma, passion, and strength in portraying hard-hitting and steadfast characters, which would fit Luke Cage perfectly.

Aldis Hodge’s role in Hidden Figures earned him a SAG Award, while he also received acclaim for his performances in Leverage, Straight Outta Compton, and One Night in Miami…, which saw him portray NFL legend and civil rights activist Jim Brown. Hodge has proven his incredible talent at every turn, so it would be great to see him bring this to a more comic-accurate and magnetic Luke Cage.


Related

Recasting 10 MCU Characters With DCEU Actors

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its excellent casting choices, but certain actors from the DCEU could have filled the roles as well.

1 Chad L. Coleman

The Wire (2004), The Walking Dead (2012), Superman & Lois (2023)

Chad L. Coleman’s acting ability speaks for itself, particularly since he has appeared in some true TV institutions, including The Wire, which was his breakout role in 2004, The Walking Dead, Law & Order, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Expanse, and Arrow. The latter saw him enter the world of DC, something that he continued as Bruno Mannheim in Superman & Lois. With Superman & Lois coming to an end, he could make the move to the MCU.


Chad L. Coleman’s experience across almost every genre makes him a perfect fit for Luke Cage in the MCU. At 56 years old, he could bring a more seasoned and hardened version of Luke Cage into live-action, diverging from the younger version depicted by Mike Colter. However, this would allow Luke Cage to be seen as a true leader to the Avengers, and a staple in the MCU’s darker street-level stories.

Luke Cage Poster


Back to top button