Not content with taking over the box office, Marvel Studios is planning to expand its TV content on ABC with upcoming series Agent Carter, and on Netflix with Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and team-up series The Defenders. The Netflix side of things will kick off with Daredevil, which is already filming in New York City with Charlie Cox playing Matt Murdock; and now Marvel is looking to cast the leads for those other Netflix shows.
All of the heroes in the Netflix series are based in Hell’s Kitchen, NY, and Marvel CEO Joe Quesada has said that they will be more down to Earth than the Marvel movies – “gritty crime stories [that are] more in the streets than in the clouds,” as he put it. At the time Quesada said that, it was also revealed that casting has already begun for Jessica Jones, which will be the next series after Daredevil, and which is under the wing of showrunner Melissa Rosenberg.
Now Deadline reports that Marvel has put together a shortlist of actors for both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. The former is a former superhero who opens a detective agency in order to escape from her former life, and Marvel is apparently interested in casting Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) or Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) in the role.
All of the actors on the Jessica Jones shortlist fit within the 25-33 age group that Marvel is looking at, and the same goes for the two actors being eyed for Luke Cage: Lance Gross, from NBC’s spy drama Crisis, and The Good Wife‘s Mike Colter. Both actors are largely known for supporting and guest roles on TV (Gross also had a regular role in Tyler Perry sitcom House of Payne), but have yet to really make it big.
Of the actors being considered for Jessica Jones, De Gouw is probably best known to comic book fans for playing the Huntress on Arrow, but Ritter’s role as Jesse’s sardonic landlord and girlfriend on Breaking Bad earned her a lot of fans. She’s also got a bit of a following thanks to her work on the relatively short-lived comedy series Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, where she played the eponymous “B.”
Jessica Jones is up first on Marvel’s schedule (though there’s no news yet as to a planned air date or production start date) and Luke Cage hasn’t even secured a showrunner yet, but we’ll likely hear casting news for both shows around the same time – seeing as Luke Cage is set to appear in 6-7 episodes of Jessica Jones, before his own show kicks off.
It’s an ambitious and complex project for Marvel as the four Netflix shows will cross over in various ways before finally coming together in The Defenders. We’re certainly interested to see if the experiment works out.
Daredevil kicks off the Marvel/Netflix series run in May 2015, with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage following sometime thereafter.