Yeah, I’m secure enough in my sexuality to admit that I have a mancrush on Michael Jai White. And thankfully, we live in a time when it’s (relatively) socially acceptable to talk about such things. Even before he made a name for himself in Spawn, which came out nearly two decades ago, White has been beating up the bad guys and flexing his massive biceps while doing it. If you are unfamiliar with his amazing physique or his precision combat skills, just check out the opening scene of Blood and Bone. His character is incarcerated and takes on at least a half dozen inmates (including MMA fighter Kimbo Slice) who are armed with shanks. He dispatches them with ease in less than a minute. (Video NSFW)
If that doesn’t impress you, check out his fight scene with three baddies at the end of Falcon Rising. One has a chain and one has a katana and he still wipes the floor with them. Sure, it’s choreographed, but his execution of the moves is flawless.
And let’s face it, the dude is ripped. He’s clearly no stranger to the gym. This is why I think he was the perfect choice to play Luke Cage (Power Man from Marvel Comics). Instead, Mike Colter was cast. Now Colter wasn’t the worst choice that could have been made, but White was obviously made for this role. He has the power, speed, precision, size and good looks. Setting that aside, White is a tenured actor that has a smouldering demeanor that is perfect for the character of Cage, who (for anyone that is familiar with the Luke Cage or Power Man and Iron Fist comics) knows that that he’s a true badass with enough “cool” to freeze the desert.
I realize that it’s too late to campaign for White to take this role, but I can still voice my opposition to the casting of Colter. As Tom Breihan states in this article:
America has failed as a society in many ways, and one of them is this: Michael Jai White is not a titanic movie star.
Breihan goes on to agree with my own assessment of White:
He can act. He has a calm, still, intimidating presence. He’s handsome enough to play the love interest in a Nicki Minaj video. He is ridiculously diesel. And he can fight. MJW can do things in action movies that almost nobody else can do.
I guess this will go down as another one of Hollywood’s abysmal failures in proper casting. Just like Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, both Hayden Christensen and Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker, George Clooney as Batman or Elizabeth Berkley in anything, I think the fans will recognize that this was a huge swing and a miss. Sorry MJW. Keep on plugging and I’ll keep on watching.