The casting for the series just keeps getting better!
Following yesterday’s announcement that Netflix’s Luke Cage series added Simone Missick as the female lead opposite Mike Colter, playing a variation of Misty Knight… today, Mahershala Ali (who co-stars on another Netflix series, "House of Cards") has booked a key role in "Luke Cage," playing Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, another adversary for the title character (to be played by Mike Colter) to battle against.
According to the Marvel wiki, in the comics, not much is known about Cottonmouth’s history except that he established himself as a drug lord in New York, and had several run-ins with Cage – his trademark being, what else, his employ of those deadly cottonmouth snakes. Cottonmouth is said to have actually tried to recruit Cage for his organization, but, of course, Cage wasn’t interested. He eventually did, but obviously so that he could learn more about Cottonmouth’s operations.
Of course there’s a lot more to that story, but we don’t even know if that’s the narrative the series will run with, so we’ll just have to wait to find out.
According to Marvel, in the Netflix series, Cottonmouth will be a Harlem nightclub owner, who will become an unexpected foe in Cage’s life when his criminal activities threaten Luke’s world. That’s all we know with certainty at the moment.
Ali joins a cast that also includes Alfre Woodard, who will play another Luke Cage nemesis known as Black Mariah; Simone Missick as Misty Knight; Theo Rossi as Shades (aka Alvarez), a career criminal and a nemesis to Cage; and Rosario Dawson reprising her role as Claire Temple from the Daredevil series.
Cheo Hodari Coker serves as executive producer, showrunner and co-writer of the much-anticipated Netflix series.
Before it premieres, Cage will make his debut on the "Jessica Jones" Netflix/Marvel series which will come later 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.
The first in the series, "Daredevil," premiered earlier this year to rave reviews. Up next will be the "Jessica Jones" series, whose release is still currently undated. Although Chief Content Officer at Netflix, Ted Sarandos, shared at TCA 2 months ago that the streaming platform will debut “Jessica Jones” by the end of 2015, which is inline with its announced "every 6 months" release strategy. Given that "Daredevil" premiered in April, I’d look for "Jessica Jones" (and thus Luke Cage’s debut) during the last quarter of this year – some time in October through December.
And after "Jessica Jones," Iron Fist and Luke Cage series will follow in 2016.
Each of the above 4 series will be supplemented by a "Defenders" series whose characters include all 4 characters: Daredevil, Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. They will join forces in a combined “Defenders” season after each has been introduced with its own first season, which I’d assume will come in 2017 or 2018.