It’s that time again, time to get excited about the beginning of another Marvel Netflix series. With Jessica Jones set to debut in November, and Daredevil now filming season two, it looks like Luke Cage is about to start his mission to make the streets safer on the series of the same name. How do we know? Well, the series has a soft release date of 2016 for one thing, but more tellingly, it looks like the cast is starting to shape up. Marvel Studios has announced four new actors cast for Cage, including one who looks like she may end up being the Nick Fury of Marvel’s street level heroes.
Following up on yesterday’s announcement that Alfre Woodward had been cast as Mariah Dillard, the politician cousin of Cage bad guy Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali), comes news that four more people have been added to the cast: Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Frank Whaley and Rosario Dawson.
Missick will play Misty Knight, a character who, like Luke Cage, was first introduced into Marvel Comics in the 70s. Like her comic book counterpart, the series’ Misty will be an NYPD officer working out of Harlem, and her investigations will bring her into the orbit of Luke Cage. “We know fans have waited years to see Misty Knight brought to life, so we had to find the right actress,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of TV, in a press release. “Simone blew us away with her performance as the strong-willed cop on a mission.”
Misty Knight’s partner will be Rafael Scarfe played by character actor Whaley. Scarfe is also transferred from the comics where he frequently assisted both Luke Cage and Iron Fist. “Frank Whaley has a wiry intensity that he’s imbued in Det. Rafael Scarfe,” said Cheo Hodari Coker, the showrunner of Luke Cage. “He’s a great counterpart to Misty, and a wonderful actor.”
Rossi of Sons of Anarchy will play Shades, who was acquainted with Luke Cage in their youth, but he instead became a Hoodlum for Hire rather than a Hero for Hire. “Theo Rossi is a swiss army knife–no matter what you bring to him, he has a tool for it–and he’s playfully unpredictable,” said Coker. “His Shades will be someone you hate to love.”
And finally, a face already familiar with many Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, Dawson, who will be reprising her role as emergency nurse to superheroes, Claire Temple. Dawson appeared in the first season of Daredevil and will reprise Claire in the upcoming first season of Jessica Jones. Apparently, Claire and Cage strike up a friendship that will change them both. “We are thrilled to have Rosario in another one of our television series,” said Loeb. “Her performance as Claire Temple in Marvel’s Daredevil was astonishing and we can’t wait to see her shine in Marvel’s Luke Cage.”
Mike Colter, of course, plays the titular hero, a former criminal who’s exposed to a chemical that gives him unbreakable skin and super-strength and tries to use those powers to do some good in his Harlem neighborhood. Cage will be introduced in the upcoming first season of Jessica Jones this fall.
Luke Cage, meanwhile, will start filming in the coming weeks for a release date sometime next year.