Michael Clarke Duncan on Green Lantern, Daredevil, and...ThunderCats?
06.17.11 by BJSprecher
Actor Michael Clarke Duncan played a string of bit parts in TV shows and movies before hitting the big time as John Coffey, the gentle man-mountain with healing powers at the center of director Frank Darabont's The Green Mile, a role that garnered him an Academy Award-nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. While Duncan has since found it difficult to find roles that require the emotional range of Coffey, he has capitalized on his massive stature by playing bruisers in movies like Planet of the Apes, The Scorpion King and Daredevil.
Duncan also maintains a healthy voice over career, lending his weighty bass tones to numerous commercials, video games, animated TV shows and movies. Duncan's booming voice can next be heard emanating from the mouth of the CGI character Kilowog in Green Lantern. In a recent interview with BlackFilm, Duncan opened up about what it was like working with director Martin Campbell to get the right tone for the "drill sergeant" of the Green Lantern Corps. He also talked about what it would take to get him to reprise the role of the Kingpin in the new Daredevil movie currently in development and revealed his desire to play Panthro in a live-action ThunderCats adaptation.
Kilowog only plays a minor role in Green Lantern, but Duncan said that he "spent a lot of time" perfecting the character's voice because Campbell was a "very, very meticulous" director.
It wasn’t like a regular voice over session where you go in there and you lay down your voice for a character. Martin was totally different in that he wanted specific things. He wanted you to pronounce in a specific way. The first time I laid it down it was very hard. I was very, very drill sergeant like. The second time Martin wanted him to have a bit of a sense of character, of not being so hard and not so hell bent on destroying Hal (Ryan Reynolds). He wanted me to be a little nicer. So the second time that I went in we did another three or four-hour session and Martin knew specifically what he wanted and it made a difference.
It was recently revealed that Kingpin will play a major role in director David Slade's new Daredevil movie, but the chances of Duncan reprising the role are slim considering the movie is a franchise reboot rather than a sequel. Even so, Duncan said that he would return as the Kingpin if asked, but that he would need to put on some serious weight to do so.
I loved playing Kingpin. Kingpin was a cool guy. He ran everything. Not withstanding the last fight at the end of the movie with Daredevil (Ben Affleck), Kingpin was the sh*t, man. I’d be honored to play Kingpin. I’m only 280 (pounds) now. So, I’d have to gain a considerable amount of weight because I think I was weighing 340 when I did Kingpin. I was well over three hundred. I’m an actor and if that opportunity came up I’d love to do that character all over again.
Duncan went on to say that if he had his pick of comic book-type characters to play he would choose the nunchaku-wielding Panthro in an adaptation of the popular '80s cartoon ThunderCats.
I’d love to play Panthro from Thundercats. I remember [the] character and the series from years ago. I used to watch that when it was on television a lot and Panther was baldheaded and looked like he was African American to me. He was very defined, quick, had the nunchucks. I don’t know what I’d do with the nunchucks. I hit myself in the head when I was younger, and so they’d have to teach me that move. Panthro would be a really good opportunity for me.