Netflix aims to bolster their exclusive programming slate significantly in the near future, with up to 20 original shows airing per year on the streaming service. An important part of that upcoming original content is coming from Marvel TV beginning next year with Daredevil – the first of four series and a crossover miniseries that explore the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, and the superheroes that reside there.
The continuously growing franchise that began with Iron Man in movie theaters in 2008, expanded to TV last year for the first time with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, and next month adds a second series in Agent Carter. After that, Marvel TV tests out a new platform in with their Netflix slate which we just learned will include both A.K.A. Jessica Jones alongside Daredevil in 2015.
With Daredevil just wrapping production, the timing is perfect for Marvel to keep the momentum going with casting their next series, and earlier this month it was officially announced that Krysten Ritter will play the lead as Jessica Jones in the second Marvel-Netflix series. Today we can officially add to the AKA Jessica Jones cast Mike Colter (Halo: Nightfall), who will play the nearly invulnerable hero known as Luke Cage – a character who also gets his own series as part of the Marvel-Netflix deal.
We can assume that since three of the four headliners of the Marvel-Netflix universe – who together will form a team known as The Defenders – are cast that there will be seeds for AKA Jessica Jones and Luke Cage planted in Daredevil, the first of the four programs debuting on Netflix. It’s also probable that Matt Murdock a.k.a. Daredevil (Charlie Cox) will pop up on these other shows to help solidify the mini-connected universe within the greater MCU. With Luke Cage cast, chances are that his own series will come next in 2016 followed by Iron Fist – the most fantastical of the four – who’s yet to be cast.
As for Cage, he’s super strong and has nearly indestructible skin, thanks to an origin story that takes place in the same prison (Seagate Prison) where we saw Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in the All Hail The King Marvel One-Shot. While he can’t take damage, he can still feel damage, making Cage one of the toughest Marvel heroes who goes on to be an integral member of The Avengers. That is, when he’s not running his Heroes for Hire organization with his pal Iron Fist. Expect that team-up to to show up in the future of the MCU. Also expect Jones and Cage to begin a relationship on screen next year, since in Marvel Comics, the pair go on to have a child together. They’re one of the few superhero families in the books who have to deal with balancing “work” life (hero life) with family obligations in raising a child.
In the Netflix series, Krysten Ritter’s Jones investigates “cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City” and that’s where she’ll cross paths with Colter’s Cage. Executive Producer/Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg on the casting of Mike Colter as Luke Cage:
“Mike embodies the strength, edge and depth of Luke Cage. We’re excited to have him bring this iconic Marvel character to life.”
Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb:
“Fans have longed to see Luke Cage and in Mike we’ve found the perfect actor. 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.”
Fans have waited many years, through rumors and hints of Heroes for Hire and Luke Cage movies, for Luke Cage to be realized in live-action and it’s finally happening. And the most exciting part is that he’ll probably show up in the future movies and join The Avengers one day.
Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones both premiere on Netflix in 2015 as all-new 13-episode series.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!