The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Columbia Pictures is in talks with filmmaker John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Shaft) regarding a feature film based on the Luke Cage comic books. Cage, Marvel’s first African American character, will join the small but growing list of urban screen superheroes which includes Todd McFarlane’s Spawn and Warner Bros. Animation’s Static Shock.
Neal Moritz and his Original Films, along with Marvel Studios’ Avi Arad, are producing the film about a former gang member who is framed for a crime and goes to prison where a medical experiment gives him superhuman powers. Ben Ramsey based his script on the Luke Cage, Hero for Hire comic books published by Marvel in the ’70s and ’80s. The project is being overseen by Matt Tolmack and Andrea Giannetti at Columbia and Tania Landau at Original.
Singleton has proven that he can handle both action and compelling character pieces. He burst onto the scene with the critically and financially successful Boyz, but failed to make the same impact with followups Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Rosewood and Baby Boy. More popular were his straight action movies Shaft and the recent hit 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Columbia previously teamed with Marvel on Spider-Man and the upcoming Spider-Man 2. The studio will also distribute the April 16 release The Punisher internationally.