“Yeah, sure”, said the veteran actor, who has played the legendary black superhero icon for 2 seasons on Netflix – which recently canceled the show. “If the storyline makes sense, of course.”
“It (a film) is above my pay grade”, Colter laughed during an exclusive interview with EURweb during a convention earlier this month in New Orleans. “These guys up there have a bigger understanding of the big picture (and) it’s completely up to them. But yeah, I would love for that to happen! I think he would do well on the big screen.”
While the future of Colter playing Luke Cage is in doubt, the veteran actor has numerous projects coming up in the near future.
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Later this month will see the release of the film “Before You Know It”, a more light turn for Colter that also includes stars like Alec Baldwin, Mandy Patinkin and Judith Light in the cast.
” ‘Before You Know It’ is a character-driven comedy that was shot in New York City”, said Colter. “We’ve got a great cast – and it was a fun departure for me to do a film that appealed to a different demographic.”
“To sum it up, these people…their dad passes away and they find out that their dad – who they thought was dead! – is alive and well and a soap opera actress! She’s on television every single day – and they didn’t even know that! It sets up some nice comedy”, he said.
Colter said the project he has coming out after that, a film titled “Breakthrough”, is him shifting gears yet again.
“It comes out this Easter and is a faith-based film”, said Colter. “It’s about life and miracles and faith and God and asks, ‘What do things mean?’.”
“I think spiritual-based films are good because it’s something you can take your family to – not just believers, but non-believers as well,” he emphasizes. “I think it will do well and people will respond to it. It’s also got a great cast, including Topher Grace and Chrissy Metz.”
Another project Colter is involved in that us due out this year is the thriller “Fatale”, which is headed by Hillary Swank.
“It’s sexy and it’s shot in Los Angeles”, said Colter. “It’s a cool movie (that) people will respond to…It’s visually stimulating and the storyline is something that will have you on the edge of your seat. I’m looking to do things that are different and this is a project that I feel is very different.”
Colter said he feels he is getting more offers because of his being the lead in a high-profile series like “Luke Cage” and it’s fan base.
“Sure,” he admits. Interest is definitely driven by exposure, but a lot of times that exposure won’t get you offers that are different to what you’ve done. So, with that I have had to decide if I want to do things that are the same (as “Luke Cage”) or depart from that. For a lot of people, it’s just easier to keep doing the same thing. But as an artist or actor, I’m always looking to prove people wrong and do something different.”
“For me, that’s what gets me excited about coming into work”, said Colter. “You know? If it’s something I haven’t done or at least done recently, I’m always a little nervous – and that’s what gets me going!”
Having said all that, Colter is grateful for the break he got being cast as Cage, the first black American superhero in the history of Marvel Comics to carry his own title.
“Well, it was a breakthrough”, the 42-year-old thespian said. “Because what happens as an actor, there’s two realms you live in. There’s a realm of working actor, where people know your face, but they don’t quite remember from where. But you’re working and that’s a good thing. That’s one realm.”
“The second realm as a working actor – because of course there’s the realm of the nonworking actor, and no one wants to be there – is a role that sort of pops and you get an opportunity where people pay attention to you.”
“It’s a good thing and a bad thing”, Colter continued. “Why? Because once people focus on you for a certain role, then obviously they associate you with the role – and you just have to shake it up again.”
Colter admits to not being very familiar with the character of Luke Cage when it was offered.
“Not really”, he said. “I had heard of him, but didn’t know much about him.”
Colter feels there are some basic reasons that Cage resonates with all audiences and the black community in particular.
“I think the character has multiple meanings for different people”, said Colter. “I think it resonated with the black community in a very specific way. That is, if you weren’t a black person living in this time, or any time, you wouldn’t quite get it.”
Colter specifically cited Cage’s bulletproof skin.
“You know, if there’s a superpower that many in the community would want, that would be it”, he continued. “Not to get political, but that struck a chord. When it debuted, Trayvon Martin had just happened. Eric garner had just happened. Michael Brown. Things were happening and they were getting a lot of attention, so whether people want to recognize it or not, ‘Luke Cage’ debuting when it did was a timely situation.”
“As as the character making his live-action debut on Netflix, that was sort of going to give people a place to go and get respite, to have a departure. a fantasy. A little break. It was a fantasy that resonated with people in the real world.”
One of the things Colter said he cherishes about his experience so far as Luke Cage is being able to mingle with Cage’s creators on the comic book page, like Archie Goodwin, George Tuska, Roy Thomas and John Romita, Sr.
“It’s great, because for them it’s a resurgence of a character they created”, Colter said. “They have a library of characters that have been done and this character, if they have involvement in it, it’s sort of a resurgence for them as well. So, it’s good to see them get a sort of reawakening in their careers.”
As for the future of his cage, Colter said that if Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige sat him down and said he wanted to do a “Luke Cage” movie, he’d be game.
“Sure. Why not?”
As for Colter’s future, he said he feels the massive success of “Black Panther” will offer him and others more opportunities to play a black heroic lead in films.
“It’s always opportunity meets preparedness”, Colter said. “Sure. I think we’re always trying to diversify what we’re looking at onscreen that mirrors what we see in society. I think there’s a lot of content out right now. I think there’s a lot more opportunities.”
“I think everybody should be excited about it, because everybody is getting a chance to see themselves be represented onscreen and that’s important for young people.”
So what, to Colter, is the best thing about being cast as Luke Cage?
“The coolest thing about playing Cage is that I’m the first to play a character that means a lot to a lot of people”, Colter concluded. “I think it’s really cool to be the first to do something, so I’m very happy about that.”