Daredevil set the benchmark high for Marvel Studios' upcoming Netflix series based in Hell's Kitchen. So far, the followup series Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both appear to be hewing closely to the darker tone and sharp casting that made Matt Murdock's (Charlie Cox) debut season such compelling viewing material.
While Jessica Jones is only months away from its Netflix debut, the latter is currently assembling its cast together ahead of production getting underway. We know that Mike Colter (Ringer, The Good Wife) will play Luke Cage (a character he will first portray on Jessica Jones), while Oscar-nominee Alfre Woodard is reportedly onboard - and now, another seasoned TV actor is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe via the Netflix series.
According to Deadline, Theo Rossi has joined Luke Cage as a regular cast member. At this point, reports indicate that he could be playing the Luke Cage comic books-born villain Shades a.k.a. Alvarez, though it is unconfirmed exactly which role will be playing. Nonetheless, Deadline's source describe Rossi's character as being someone who is "relentless and menacing, smooth and manipulative, street-smart and controlling," which could certainly apply to Shades.
Moreover, Deadline's report has provided further confirmation that Rosario Dawson - who played Claire Temple in Daredevil and is set to return for Jessica Jones - will also appear on Luke Cage. Many fans expected that Dawson would show up on the show, since her character has history with Cage in the comics. The character should also be at home in the rough and tumble world of Luke Cage, as brought to life by showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Southland, Ray Donovan).
So far, it does seem like Dawson will serve as a key piece of connective tissue between the Marvel Netflix shows - and if the previously reported plot summary for Luke Cage is legit, then it will be all the more interesting to see how her storyline ties in with the complicated relationships between Cage and such character as Reva Connors and Diamondback.
Even more intriguing is how Rossi's character will factor into it all. The actor - best known for his work on Sons of Anarchy - has a proven ability to be an intimidating screen presence. His character could be working for or even aligned with Diamondback and/or Cottonmouth. At this point, it's far too early to tell, but it does sound like Cage is going to be faced with formidable foes seemingly at every turn.
Daredevil season one is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones releases in Fall 2015, followed by Luke Cage season one and Daredevil season two in 2016. Iron Fist and The Defenders will arrive sometime thereafter.