Hollywood is all abuzz with news of director Steven Spielberg in final talks to helm the biblical drama MOSES. While mainstream outlets are putting actors like Liam Neeson and Daniel Craig high on their list of casting choices, most have failed to ponder the million dollar question–Who says Moses has to be White? 2011 was glaringly absent of any strong lead roles for black actors, and with a role as epic as Moses, whoever lands the role, is practically guaranteed a Best Actor nod come awards season.
The Urban Daily has compiled a list of the best and brightest amongst our black male thespians. All of our candidates have the talent and screen presence to lead their people to the promised land. And let’s face it–the African-American community knows quite a bit about that!
You can’t lose with the one of the world’s greatest actors. From Malcolm X to The Hurricane, Denzel is the best in the game when it comes to breathing life to real life iconic characters. Denzel is notorious for his Method acting approach, studying his role for months in advance, and always delivers a flawless, three dimensional depiction of the characters he portrays.
Chiwetel is one of Hollywood’s greatest untapped talents. The British-born thespian gave a knockout, Oscar-worthy performance as Dewey Hughes in the woefully underrated Talk to Me. Let’s not forget his other stellar work in Inside Man, Children of Men and American Gangster. Chiwetel has been on his grind, working with A-list directors and steadily building a solid body of work. Talent like Chiwetel’s needs a breakout leading role, and MOSES just might be the ticket.
It’s time to get Djimon back on rotation on the big screen. Hollywood seems to have selective amnesia when it comes to the power and vulnerability Djimon brings to his roles. This two time Oscar nominee needs to be bumped up to leading man status. Djimon’s gravelly bass and beautiful midnight-hued skin, could give MOSES some serious sex appeal.
As Captain Benjamin Sisko on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, Avery Brooks became one of the Federation’s most iconic captains. While Captain Kirk was known for his action star, womanizing ways, and Picard for his intellect, Brooks made Captain Sisko equally cerebral and spiritual. While his big screen presence has been limited, he gave a touching performance as Ed Norton’s mentor in American History X. Brooks’ gravitas and magnetic screen presence would lend to a memorable Moses.
If you can play God Almighty, being a prophet would a walk in the park for Morgan. With a body of work that has spanned four decades, Morgan stamps all of his characters with a quiet authority. While Morgan has 2 Oscar wins for Best Supporting Actor, he has yet to score one for Best Lead. Landing Moses would be the proverbial cherry on top of such an esteemed career.