Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sweet Christmas: Mike Colter To Be Marvel's Luke Cage

The 38-year old actor has officially been announced in the role of Luke Cage, the original Power Man, in A.K.A. Jessica Jones.
A few weeks ago word leaked that a handful of finalists for the role of Jessica Jones were reading scripts with Mike Colter to see what sort of chemistry they'd have with him, making this announcement a little anti-climactic; however, as a longtime fan of Luke Cage, it is really cool to finally see the actor who will be bringing him to life beginning with Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones, set to stream on Netflix sometime in 2015.

Colter is currently starring in Halo: Nightfall and will be a part of the upcoming TNT series, Agent X. It seems that Marvel may have caught the actor at just the right time as his visibility seems to be increasing. Colter certainly has the look for Cage, especially the more modern version, though I'm guessing he will have to hit the weights awfully hard if Marvel hopes to have the physique of the onscreen character even slightly resemble the comic book version.

As I expected, Cage will make his debut in A.K.A. Jessica Jones, ahead of his own series. Given the relationship between the characters, it makes the most sense. The official release from Marvel (quoted below) seems to indicate that the series will be at least loosely-based on Brian Michael Bendis' Alias, a MAX series for mature audiences that chronicled the private detective career of Jessica Jones and included heavy does of swearing, sex (including the incredibly risky and heavy hint at anal sex between Cage and Jones) and violence. It'll be interesting to see how much of Cage's back story they reveal in the Jones' series and what they choose to keep for the Cage solo series, which is expected to air in 2016.

Cage is a former criminal who was experimented on during his time in Seagate Prison (seen in the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King as the facility housing Trevor Slattery). The experiments gave Cage, formerly known as Carl Lucas, unbreakable skin and super-strength. Cage used his new-found gifts to help common people willing to pay by forming Heroes for Hire. Eventually, Cage met and worked with Jones, who was in a relationship with Scott Lang. After Jones revealed to Cage that she was pregnant with his child, the two entered into a relationship and eventually were married. Cage has played a much larger role in recent years as a member of the Avengers, New Avengers and now as the leader of his own team of Mighty Avengers.

While it's doubtful that the Netflix series will include some of the more mature moments from the series, there are certainly some reasons to believe that Marvel will be pushing the envelope a bit within these series. The show, which is in pre-production now, should begin filming relatively quickly now that production on Daredevil has wrapped. While there are strong indications that Daredevil will air beginning May 1st, I would not be shocked to see A.K.A. Jessica Jones hit Netflix sometime around July or August giving Marvel a nearly year-round media presence in 2015 (Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and A.K.A. Jessica Jones followed, potentially, by a third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Each of these Netflix series are full of opportunities for Marvel to cross-promote and include cameos of actors from their other properties; the Alias series featured Carol Danvers, Jessica Drew and Scott Lang among others. It's hard to imagine an A.K.A. Jessica Jones series existing without some of these characters and certainly without the inclusion of the Purple Man, but having recently reread the series, I've found myself expecting that there will be more than one season of each of these series so we may or may not find out the incredibly creepy relationship between Jones and the Purple Man in 2015.
Marvel and Netflix are proud to announce that Mike Colter will star as Luke Cage in "Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones," an all-new 13-episode series premiering on Netflix in 2015 following "Marvel's Daredevil."

During the course of an investigation in New York City, private investigator Jessica Jones encounters the enigmatic Luke Cage – a man whose past has secrets that will dramatically alter Jessica in ways she could never have imagined.

Colter will star opposite Krysten Ritter, who plays the title role in “Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones.”

“Mike embodies the strength, edge and depth of Luke Cage,” said Executive Producer/Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. “We're excited to have him bring this iconic Marvel character to life.”

"Fans have longed to see Luke Cage brought and in Mike we’ve found the perfect actor,” said Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer/Marvel's Head of Television. "Viewers will get to meet Luke Cage in ‘Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones,’ and experience why he is such an important super hero in the Marvel mythos.”

Colter is currently starring in the PlayStation Network’s original series “Halo: Nightfall” as Jameson Locke. He has appeared in a number of critically-acclaimed television series, including “The Good Wife” and “American Horror Story: Coven.”

After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City.

"Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones" is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.