Cheo Hodari Coker will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the much-anticipated Netflix & Marvel Television series, “Marvel’s Luke Cage.”
Coker will also write the first 2 episodes of the series, which will premiere in 2016 on Netflix.
As we already know, Mike Colter will play the Luke Cage in the series.
Before it premieres, the character will make his debut in the “Jessica Jones” Netflix/Marvel series which will come later on this year – all part of Netflix’s announced strategy that will see the streaming platform release a new Marvel superhero series every six months, each focusing on members of a group of comic book heroes called The Defenders – a kind of street-level Avengers team.
So what can we expect from Luke Cage’s “Jessica Jones” debut, since, really, we’ve known very little about how involved the character will be in that series – whether it’ll just be a cameo appearance as a lead-in into his own series next year, or something more extensive? We know that Jessica Jones later becomes Jessica Jones Cage. The last name there should give you a hint as to what that means for the character. In short, Jones eventually marries Luke Cage. The couple had a daughter as well. But Marvel has already demonstrated that it won’t stick exactly the original source stories for each of its characters in the transition from page to screen, so there’s no reason to believe that what fans of the comic series currently know of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones will transfer to the series.
Over the summer, at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, “Jessica Jones” executive producer/showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and executive producer Jeph Loeb shared new details on key characters in the upcoming series. Here’s the section on Luke Cage, courtesy of IGN: “What’s great about it is that, first of all, you get to meet Mike Colter and I think that’s really the thing that’s most generous of what Melissa did is to allow this show to offer him an opportunity for people to get to know him. He is important to the show and he is important to the story of Jessica Jones and who she is. It would not be Jessica Jones unless you at least understood how Luke affected her life and where she is. What’s wonderful about it is they’re still very early on in this world so who he is and what he’s doing and where he is in his story, allows us to tell a great deal of story that happens before and story that happens afterwards. So you’re getting him not quite in the middle, but sort of in the early part of the middle. So when we get to start on the Luke Cage show, you’ll have hopefully watched Jessica, so 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 and so it will very much feel like you can watch that show and never have seen Jessica. But in the same kind of way, there’s something about — there’s only a handful of us that can actually say this — there’s something about watching Jessica that makes it feel like the same world as Daredevil but there’s nothing in it that makes you say ‘I wish I had watched Daredevil to understand what is going on.’ It exists in it’s own way in the same kind of way that Daredevil exists in it’s own way and Luke Cage will be the same way and so will Iron Fist. Each will be a way of introducing the characters to the audience so that when they all do get together, you’ll have that same experience that you have when you went to go see the Avengers. It was sort of an extraordinarily bright light bulb that appeared above my head when I went ‘Oh, I see. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, make those movies then go make the Avengers movie. Let’s see…. Take the street level heroes and let’s see whether or not we can get to the Defenders.’ We just needed a platform that was able to tell those stories in a way that they could be uniquely their own and in the same kind of way, exist in the same world and that’s what Netflix afforded us to be able to do.”
So clearly, while it’s definitely Jones’ series, as it should be, Cage won’t be relegated entirely to the periphery. From what is shared above, it reads like Colter will have lots of screen time, and his character will be more involved than I originally imagined. It’s not mentioned, but I suppose we should then assume that Jessica Jones will also appear in the stand-alone Luke Cage series.
Much more recently, over the past weekend, at the New York Comic Con, Mike Colter shared more in an interview with ComicBook.com.
“I can tell you what they’ve allowed me to, which is basically, Luke Cage will take place a few months after Jessica Jones… So in real time, if you watch ‘Jessica Jones,’ you’ll find Luke Cage uptown in Harlem, working, trying to make ends meet. Luke Cage really hasn’t figured out what he’s doing. He’s tending bar, he’s bouncing around. And for good reason, he’s a fugitive, he has some skeletons in his closet… He’s trying to basically stay off the radar. The people he hangs around with, though, are in need. Ultimately, he’d rather be alone, but with the way he’s equipped he does step up. That’s what it’s about, it’s about finding that inner feeling to make you want to take action. Sometimes we just sit around, and sit on our hands and don’t do anything because it’s like ‘Hey, that’s not my problem.’ You can’t do that when you’re a superhero. You have these gifts, now use them.”
And finally, also at New York Comic Con, the first episode was screened for fans, and, by all accounts, it was a massive hit. Vulture summarized the episode, applauding its “shockingly and refreshingly honest” depiction of sex and sexuality, compared to the rest of Marvel’s cinematic and televised released. Specifically, here’s a piece of the write-up: “But y’know what’s delightfully unsubtle? The sex scene that will have everyone’s eyebrows on the ceiling once it hits Netflix in November. The episode introduces us to Mike Colter’s Luke Cage, a beefy superhuman (though he’s not yet revealed as such) who will soon star in his own Netflix series. In a sequence lifted more or less directly from the comics series Jessica Jones is based on, a depressed Jessica finds Luke at the bar he runs and confidently hits on him. He’s coy at first, accusing her of flirting with him, but Jessica says she doesn’t flirt: she just gets what she wants. “What do you want?” Luke asks. Smash cut to Luke on top of Jessica in his bed, going at it with a sexual fury unlike anything Marvel (or DC, for that matter) has even come close to putting on screen. She eggs him on, and when he warns her that she might not be able to take it, she insists she can. At that point, he flips her over and starts taking her from behind while the camera focuses on her impassioned face. It’s a scene where Jessica is in total control of her sexuality. Whatever her reason may be for banging Luke, she’s doing it on her terms. It’s the way real-life grown-ups have sex, not the way neutered TV superheroes do. The audience at Comic Con seemed to simultaneously clutch its pearls and lean forward in titillated fascination.”
So there you have it folks! It looks like “Jessica Jones” will, at the very least, arouse on some level. And Luke Cage won’t just be a mannequin; he’ll actually have purpose in the series.
We’ll all find out in just over a month, when “Jessica Jones” premieres on Netflix, on November 20.
The series stars Krysten Ritter as the former superhero who tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, specializing in cases involving people with extraordinary abilities.