According to DigitalSpy, rumors are once again swirling that in the wake of another successful "Iron Man" picture, Marvel studios is moving forward with plans for a Luke Cage movie:

It's not exactly a new rumor -- there's been speculation for years that Marvel's been wanting to do a "Cage" movie, to the point where musician/actor/comics fan Tyrese Gibson was reportedly attached to star -- but with the character's continued rise in prominence in the Marvel Universe that includes being a core member of the Avengers (a franchise we already know Hollywood wants to take advantage of), the timing couldn't be better.

If there is a movie, I imagine it'll be similar to the more modern, Azzarello/Bendis take on the character, but while I know the chances of it actually happening are somewhere in the neighborhood of zero, I'd love to see a version starring Terry Crews or Michael Jai White doing a big-budget "Black Dynamite"-style tribute to Marvel's Bronze Age.

Specifically, I'd be hoping for a big-screen adaptation of what is unquestionably one of the greatest comics of the '70s: "Hero For Hire" #9...

...wherein Luke Cage borrows a plane from the Fantastic Four so that he can go to Latveria and get Dr. Doom to pay him the amount of $200 for his Hero-For-Hire services.

As bizarre as it is -- and even beyond the panel above, which is famous on the comics blogger circuit for what are probably pretty obvious reasons -- this actually is a really good issue that says a lot about Luke Cage. Mainly that Luke Cage doesn't take crap from anybody, not even Dr. Doom.

As to putting Dr. Doom in a Luke Cage movie, that might seem a little counterintuitive, what with the fact that he's the Fantastic Four's arch-nemesis and has already appeared in their movies, but I haven't heard a lot of people saying that Julian McMahon's performance was all that definitive. So why not?

Besides, even if we'd already had the best Dr. Doom movie we were ever going to get, it'd still be worth it to see their end-of-movie, "Karate Kid" "You're all right, LaRusso!"-style friendship develop at the end... glorious, "Avatar"-esque 3D.

But like I said, that'll never happen. But hey, a guy can dream, right?

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