Marvel has reportedly begun screen-testing actors and actresses for the role of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in the upcoming Netflix series based on Jessica Jones, from Melissa Rosenberg ("Twilight" screenwriter). Comic book geeks will know that Jessica Jones was later known as Jessica Campbell Jones Cage, because she eventually marries Luke Cage, the African American superhero, both of them of the Marvel universe. The couple had a daughter as well.
When this project was first announced in 2010, I wondered whether we could expect to see Luke Cage worked into the TV series (it wasn’t said at the time), and it now looks like he will. Although Cage will also star in his own series, also set to be distributed via Netflix, as announced by Disney a year ago here. So one must then wonder whether the actor cast to play Cage in the Jessica Jones series will also be the actor cast to play the superhero in his own live-action serial.
Deadline is reporting today that Lance Gross and Mike Colter are being considered for the part of Luke Cage in the Jessica Jones series. I must say, neither of those 2 actors would be on my short list for the role, although, if I had to choose between both of them, I’d definitely go with Colter, who – to me anyway – looks like he could be more menacing than Gross – an attribute that I’d think would be necessary for an actor cast to play Luke Cage.
Cage, born in Harlem, spent his youth in a gang called the Bloods. Throughout his teens, he moved in and out of juvenile homes, while dreaming of becoming a major New York racketeer, until he finally realized how his actions were hurting his family. He would later do time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, where, consumed by rage over the betrayal that got him locked up, he frequently got into fights with other inmates, and even tried to escape a few times.
There’s much more, but I give you all that backstory to bolster my suggestion that Colter would be a stronger choice for the part, than Gross. And I also just think that Colter is a better actor.
For the part of Jessica Jones (who is white, in case you weren’t aware), Krysten Ritter ("Breaking Bad"), Alexandra Daddario ("True Detective"), Teresa Palmer ("Warm Bodies") and Jessica De Gouw ("Arrow") are all in contention.
Luke Cage will first appear in 6 or 7 episodes of the Jessica Jones series before being given his own series, and, again, I assume that the actor cast to play him in the Jessica Jones series will also go on to star in the Luke Cage stand-alone.