Pre-production for the third Marvel television show on Netflix, Luke Cage, is moving full speed ahead as showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan) prepares the show to go before cameras this fall. The street-level hero will first be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe later this year in Jessica Jones, before transitioning to his own show in the second half of 2016. There has been a lot of reported casting confirmations for the Luke Cage in the past week. So we wanted to compile the most interesting points of casting for the series as it heads into production in the near future.
Where & When Does LUKE CAGE Fit In?
Luke Cage is about a wrongly imprisoned convict who is subjected to an experiment gone wrong, which endowed him with super strength and almost-impenetrable skin. He breaks free and creates his own (super) Hero for Hire business, monetizing his superheroics. Actor Mike Colter was cast as Cage aka Power Man, in the upcoming series, Jessica Jones, opposite Krysten Ritter who leads. He will be introduced in that show, but that will not be where his origin story takes place. Previously Jeph Loeb gave a vague sense of how the Luke Cage show fits into the timeline to Collider:
What’s wonderful about where it is, is that it’s still early on in this [Jessica Jones'] world. Who he is, what he’s doing, and where he is in his story allows us to tell a great deal of story that happens before, and a great deal of story that happens afterwards. You’re catching him not quite in the middle, but in the early part of the middle. So, when we get to start on the Luke Cage show, you will hopefully have watched Jessica, so that at least you know who Luke is, but his story and where he came from and, most importantly, where he’s going, is what that series is about.
It sounds like Luke Cage will take place before the events of Jessica Jones (and presumably Daredevil). However, it is even more likely that Coker will play with time using flashbacks and flashforwards. That way Cage's backstory, development, and motivations will be fostered, yet there will still be a forward progression towards the larger MCU or Defenders (the upcoming team-up series featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, & Iron Fist) storylines coming in the future.
Enter Misty Knight
Simone Missick has been cast as Misty Knight, an integral part of the "Heroes for Hire" storylines in the comics. Her presence in the Marvel/Netflix world was an inevitability, as she is a formidable badass and the eventual love interest to Iron Fist, whose show is next in the pipeline. This is the perfect star-making role, in the vein of Michonne from The Walking Dead, for Missick to grab a hold of. Aside from Bullseye and Iron Fist himself, Misty Knight may have been the most anticipated role to be cast in the Marvel TV world.
In the comics, Misty Knight is a former NYPD cop who lost her arm in the line of duty, only to have it replaced with a cybernetic limb courtesy of Stark Industries. Her arm's capabilities have been upgraded throughout the years, but what has remained relatively consistent is that while her arm is bionically strong, but she can only really use the hand and elbow joints for super strength. Since her legs, back, and spine are organic, and bound by the laws of physics, which would be realistic and fun limitation for the writers to play with in the show.
It's unclear if she will receive the upgrades via Stark himself, or if she will get the enhancement at all in the series. It's actually a lot more likely that she spends most of the duration of the first season of Luke Cage, as nothing more than an extraordinarily tough street cop. Possibly towards the end of the season, she gets a seemingly fatal injury, only to return in a future series, possibly Iron Fist, as something more. Or she will be brought fully to life quickly. Either way we can't wait to see her backhand some fool with the brass hand side.
The Nurse Who Works at Night
Deadline also confirmed that Rosario Dawson would be returning in Luke Cage, after having supporting roles in Daredevil and the upcoming Jessica Jones. This makes her the de facto Nick Fury of the Netflix world, as she will clearly be the glue that binds all of the series together. Which is actually fitting since she is essentially the Night Nurse, mending to New York City's vigilante heroes' broken bones. It also shows why Marvel went out to get such a high profile name to play a character as seemingly innocuous as Claire Temple. What is even more interesting is Temple and Cage had a relationship in the comic books, that was loosely hinted at in Daredevil. It will be interesting to see how Temple fits into Jessica Jones' world, particularly if there was indeed a past romance with Luke Cage. Claire better watch her back... I'm just sayin'...
Bosses & Mini-Bosses
Veteran film actor Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave), is rumored to be playing a corrupt politician, which will be a version of the Black Mariah character. This role should be one that Woodard has fun with, since she is rarely seen portraying such a villainous character. Also, much like Dawson, her presence will give more gravitas and instantaneously make the world feel more cinematic. Variety has also reported that Mahershala Ali has been cast as Luke Cage villain, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes. Ali, who was last seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1, is a physical presence who should be a good fit for the villain known for his super strength and razor sharp teeth. In the show Cottonmouth is "a Harlem nightclub owner, who will become an unexpected foe in the life of Luke Cage (Mike Colter) when Stokes’ criminal activities threaten Luke’s world." He will also be joined by Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy), who has reportedly been cast as Shades, another villain for Cage to contend with.
There are a lot of reasons to pay attention to what Marvel is cooking up for the show. While there have been reports of Iron Fist having a rough development period, it seems there is a vision and they are moving full-speed ahead on Luke Cage.
Source: Point of Geeks