Marvel Television officially launched the New York City corner of its cinematic universe on Netflix earlier this year with Daredevil. The second series, Jessica Jones, will arrive on November 20th and the third, Luke Cage, is currently in production. The titular hero will be played by Mike Colter (The Good Wife) and will make his first appearance in Jessica Jones, before his series – helmed by Cheo Hodari Coker (Southland) – hits the streaming service next year.
In addition to Colter, Marvel has recently confirmed Mahershala Ali (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1) will play Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes and Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, State of Affairs) his cousin Mariah Dillard. Now, Marvel has confirmed four other cast members for Luke Cage and offered official character details.
Though all were previously reported to be attached to the series, Marvel has confirmed the addition of Simone Missick (Ray Donovan), Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy), Frank Whaley (Ray Donovan), and Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Sin City) to the season 1 cast. Dawson will reprise her MCU role as Claire Temple, who first appeared in Daredevil and will return for Jessica Jones later this year as well as Daredevil season 2.
As for the other actors, Missick will play a version of Marvel Comics character Misty Knight, “a Harlem police detective who is determined to learn the truth about Luke Cage.” Whaley will portray Misty’s partner Rafael Scarfe, “a hard-nosed NYPD detective.” Rossi, meanwhile, has been confirmed to play the ruthless criminal Shades, who has ties to Cage’s past.
Marvel’s newest confirmation seems to be in line with all previous reports of these actors joining the series, including the characters they will portray. Additionally, the new details offer added insight into how these characters will fit into Cage’s story. Specifically, it seems that Claire will be an ally and Shades an adversary, while Misty and Scarfe may start off the series investigating Cage, but could become his allies as well.
Unofficial plot rumors, combined with the official Marvel synopsis for the series, seem to indicate Cage’s past will come back to haunt the hero – perhaps in the form of Shades. Added to recent set photos that show Cottonmouth and Mariah together, Cage’s history with Shades may have a connection to his battle for Harlem. However, the specific details of how these characters will fit into the Luke Cage storyline remains to be seen, until we are closer to the series’ premieres next year.
Daredevil season 1 is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones releases on November 20, 2015, followed by Luke Cage season one and Daredevil season 2 in 2016. Iron Fist and The Defenders will arrive sometime thereafter.