Luke Cage is the next Marvel TV series that’s slated to debut on Netflix, following in the footsteps of Daredevil and Jessica Jones before it. The former, which features Mike Colter reprising his Jessica Jones role as the man armed with bulletproof skin and super strength, is a street-level superhero drama that will embrace the mature tone of its predecessors – at the same time, shifting the action to the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Harlem (instead of Hell’s Kitchen a la Daredevil and Jessica Jones), a few months after Jessica Jones’ showdown with the villainous Kilgrave (David Tennant) led to Luke quietly skipping town in the immediate aftermath.
Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Southland, Ray Donovan) began production on the Luge Cage series back in September of 2015 – and a recent Jessica Jones promo indicated that the show’s first season may become available on Netflix this November. However, a fresh report on the matter suggests that Luke Cage season 1 could be aiming for an earlier summer premiere date on Netflix, rather than a fall date in the vein of Jessica Jones season 1.
This update comes from Blackfilm, citing a “trusted source” that says Luke Cage may arrive as soon as late summer 2016. While Daredevil and Jessica Jones season 1 premiered closer than the 8-15 months separation period that Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos originally estimated for the Marvel TV series, the pair were still released about 7 months apart. Daredevil season 2 is scheduled to debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, but it’s not out of the question that Luke Cage season 1 may well launch before mid-to-late October (i.e. seven months after Daredevil season 2) – especially seeing as Marvel appears to be increasing its Netflix show output, having ordered Jessica Jones season 2 and reportedly begun exploring the possibility of a Punisher series spinoff for Daredevil season 2.
A late summer debut for Luke Cage does (arguably) make sense, when you step back and examine the 2016 release slate for the MCU as a whole. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix in March of 2016, followed by Captain America: Civil War in theaters less than two months later and then Doctor Strange on the big screen in November this year. That leaves a space in late summer and/or early fall that Luke Cage could fill in nicely, ensuring that a new installment in the MCU (either a movie or TV show) will be launched in each quarter of 2016. On the other hand, though Marvel Studios films and TV series share the same continuity, they do not always coordinate their rollout schedules accordingly – meaning, it is perhaps just as possible that Luke Cage will arrive shortly after Doctor Strange hits theaters, especially as their respective storylines should be far removed from one another.
On that note: in addition to Colter, Luke Cage will also feature the return of Rosario Dawson as Hell’s Kitchen nurse Claire Temple, while other cast members include Mahershala Ali (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2) as the villainous Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes and Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave) as his cousin, Mariah Dillard. It remains to be seen if any other familiar faces from Marvel Netflix TV shows past will appear on Luke Cage season 1, but there are certain characters who should play an important role in Luke’s future in the MCU – some of whom were have already met (see: Jessica Jones, Jeryn Hogarth), while others have yet to made their debut in the MCU, but will soon (Daniel Rand/Iron Fist).
Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, followed by Luke Cage season 1 later in 2016. Release dates for Iron Fist and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced. Screen Rant will keep you updated on the Punisher spinoff as development continues.