Marvel has apparently cast Mike Colter over Lance Gross to play Luke Cage in its Jessica Jones series that’s coming to Netflix in a year or so; and likely the in the Luke Cage stand alone series that will come after.
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); now, we know that he will. Although Cage will also star in his own series, set to be distributed via Netflix, as announced by Disney a year ago here. So one must then assume that 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 – and just maybe, on the big screen, if Marvel ever decides to give audiences a Luke Cage movie (although, based on recent slate announcements, it doesn’t appear one is coming any time soon).
Deadline says today they are hearing that Mike Colter has been cast as Luke Cage in the Jessica Jones series. As I said previously, neither Colter nor Gross were actors on my short list for the role, but, as I also added, 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") has been cast in the role, beating out Alexandra Daddario ("True Detective"), Teresa Palmer ("Warm Bodies") and Jessica De Gouw ("Arrow"), who were all previously 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 Colter will also go on to star in the Luke Cage stand-alone.
By the way, Colter stars in the upcoming Xbox Originals series, "Halo: Nightfall," which is a live-action adaptation based on the gaming console’s popular "Halo" video game franchise.
We also recently interviewed the actor about that series, as well as his role in CBS’ "The Good Wife;" read that interview here.