Film-maker John Singleton has given former model TYRESE GIBSON some good news as he recovers from a near-fatal car crash - he's the director's choice to star in new comic book adaptation LUKE CAGE.

Singleton insists he wants the 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS star over the likes of Oscar winner Jamie Foxx and Ving Rhames to play the Marvel comic hero.

If the casting comes off it won't be the first time Tyrese and Singleton have worked together - Singleton directed the model-turned-actor in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Baby Boy and new movie Four Brothers.

But Gibson faces an uphill struggle to land the part - a car blaze in June (05) has left the hunk with eye damage, a number of injuries and a severe loss of muscle.

Singleton tells MTV NEWS, "He's got to work out and keep in shape for that. We got to get him in the gym."

Gang member Cage was Marvel's first black hero in 1972. After breaking out of jail, where he was serving time for a crime he didn't commit, Cage becomes a vigilante and fights crime using super powers he picks up from a medical experiment gone wrong.

HUSTLE + FLOW star Terrence Howard is slated to play his arch foe, DIAMONDBACK.

26/07/2005 09:08