[SPOILERS for Luke Cage season 1 ahead.]
While the big-screen branch of Marvel Studios’ prolific output tends to get the most press, one shouldn’t discount how much the company’s TV side tends to do so as well. Outside of the two season and done Agent Carter – which many fans and series star Hayley Atwell still hope might not be done for good – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently charging headlong into season 4, and Marvel’s prior Netflix efforts have all been big hits with both fans and critics; with the caveat that Daredevil season 2 wasn’t quite as universally well-received as season 1.
Still, this past weekend’s season 1 premiere of Luke Cage carried with it a lot of expectations, and for the most part, seems to have lived up to them. The demand to stream the series was presumably so high that Netflix suffered a brief outage on Saturday, and word of mouth coming out of that feeding frenzy seems to be very positive overall. Critically, Cage truly seems to be unbreakable, currently sitting at an impressive 96% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
That said, as successful as Luke Cage has indeed been so far, series showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker revealed on Twitter recently that he had potentially huge plans in place to try and lure in certified music legend Prince for a cameo appearance in the season finale. Unfortunately, Prince of course passed away back in April at the all too young age of 57, rendering Coker’s intentions moot. Check out Coker’s original tweets on the subject below.
The "Swear Jar" was for Prince. I was going to show him the first two episodes and convince him to play in episode 13.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) October 5, 2016
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings were the better choice. Because that sequence is about Mariah being crowned.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) October 5, 2016
And that's why she replaces Biggie with Basquiat. A different kind of Hip-hop Hero.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) October 5, 2016
As spelled out by Coker’s tweets above, the seemingly minor plot device of Pop’s Swear Jar was actually designed as a means with which to sell Prince on coming aboard the Luke Cage season finale. For those not sure why this would serve as bait for “The Purple One,” Prince – a devout Jehovah’s Witness – was known to keep a swear jar inside his famous Paisley Park compound, sometimes charging those who made the mistake of cursing in his presence a cool 20 bucks.
If Prince had agreed to participate in Luke Cage, it would have represented only the second appearance for the icon on a standard scripted TV series, following his highly-regarded guest spot on a 2014 episode of FOX comedy New Girl. That cameo came about when Prince – a big fan of the show – personally reached out to New Girl’s producers and offered to appear in an episode.
While Coker doesn’t spell out exactly what Prince would have been doing in the Cage finale, his mention of musical group Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – who performed their songs “100 Days, 100 Nights” in the episode – suggests that Prince would have been tasked with doing what he did best: perform on stage. One wonders what song from his extensive catalog he’d have been asked to do, although it’s certainly possible that if Prince had shown up, Coker would have allowed him to perform whatever he wanted.
Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1 and Luke Cage season 1 are now available on Netflix. Iron Fist will arrive on March 17th, 2017, followed later that year by The Defenders. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, The Punisher and Daredevil season 3 have not yet been announced.
Source: Cheo Hodari Coker