If Ant-Man is Marvel’s heist film and Guardians of the Galaxy is its space opera, then Luke Cage is Marvel’s version of The Wire. At least, that’s the hope of executive producer and screenwriter Cheo Hodari Coker.
Coker, who wrote the first two episodes of Luke Cage, spoke with Entertainment Weekly at the premiere of Captain America: Civil War in Los Angeles and teased what’s in store for the next installments of The Defenders:
It’s very sophisticated. I mean, it’s got a ’90s hip-hop vibe, but it’s really forward-thinking. We have Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad doing the scoring for us. We have a lot of different musical appearances, but at the same time, we’ve got the Marvel action. We’ve got drama. I would like this to be, I mean, I know this is heavy but, The Wire of Marvel television, because we really deal with a lot of different issues.
Luke Cage will see the strongman setting up shop in Harlem as new characters are introduced. Misty Knight, a police detective determined to learn the truth about Cage, is one of them, played by Simone Missick (Ray Donovan). The actress was also on hand and described the fan favorite comic book character as “larger than life.”
[Misty Knight] is so larger than life, and being able to put the voice to it for the first time is exciting. And then the writing was so rich. It was like, every day that you open the script, you’re like, “I really get to say this today? I get to do this today? I get to kick ass today?” So it was a lot of fun.
Elsewhere, Cage actor Mike Colter explained the “modern-day Harlem” setting to Marvel.com, explaining it’s a character itself. “I don’t know if there are a lot of people who have been to Harlem, who have actually stepped foot in New York City and gone uptown to 125th street and seen what the Apollo Theatre is like and the Cotton Club. We’re going to bring that world to them,” he said. Listen to the actor in the video below.
Luke Cage also features Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) as the criminal Shades, Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction) as Rafael Scarfe, Mahershala Ali (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) as Cage’s archenemy Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, and Sonia Braga (Angel Eyes) as Claire’s mom, Soledad.
The series will drop on Netflix September 30th.