When Luke Cage returns to our screens, Lucy Liu will be in charge.
The Elementary star has, like many actors before her, made the jump from in front of the camera to behind it. Over the last three years, she has directed four episodes of the CBS Sherlock series, plus an episode of Graceland to boot. Now, she’ll be taking her skills to Hell’s Kitchen, where she’ll be at the helm of Luke Cage’s second season.
Liu will direct the first episode of the new season.
“What a thrill to collaborate with Marvel and Netflix, two industry titans, who paint our world with inspiring stories and beguiling characters,” Liu said in a statement. “It is such an honor to work with such a passionate and fearless team.”
“When you’re dealing with a bulletproof man, it helps if you have a bulletproof director,” added EP Jeph Loeb. “Lucy brings a keen eye, a superb sense of story and an obvious love of actors. She is rocking Luke Cage 2.”
The news marks a reunion for Liu and streaming service, with the actor recently signing on to star in Netfix original comedy Set It Up, alongside Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. That will be directed by Claire Scanlon.
Luke Cage casts two Season 2 villains
6th July 2017
Luke Cage Season 2 has found its villains, with two new faces joining the series.
The show, which stars Mike Colter, follows Cage trying to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem, after a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin.
The series is Executive Produced by Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan), with Aïda Croal (The Returned) as Co-Executive Producer, along with Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory. It was renewed shortly after its first season was released, forming part of Netflix and Marvel’s build-up to its Hell’s Kitchen crossover, The Defenders. Now, as that event series looms on the horizon, Marvel has confirmed the first major new details about Cage’s sophomore solo outing.
Mustafa Shakir (The Night Of) has been cast as John McIver, described by Marvel as “a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance”.
Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure) will play the role of Tilda Johnson, a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.
“Mustafa’s incredible presence and power ignited us from our first meeting, and Gabrielle brings the charm and smarts to a very complicated role,” remarks executive producer, Jeph Loeb. “Both will be wonderful additions to our already magnificent cast.”
Comic book fans will recognise the two names immediately: McIver is known as criminal mastermind Bushmaster, while Johnson has the alter-ego of Nightshade, a criminal with super-intelligence. Whether either will follow those comics-ordained paths is another matter entirely, as Marvel and Netflix’s series aren’t afraid to rework material for their own ends.
“I can’t wait for audiences to see the compelling paces we put both Mustafa and Gabrielle through,” adds Cheo Hodari Coker. “From the moment you see each of them on screen, I feel they will be powerful additions to the world of Marvel and Harlem’s Luke Cage.”
They join returning cast members Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, and Theo Rossi as Shades.
All 13 episodes of Season 2 of Luke Cage will premiere in 2018. For more on what Coker has said about the show’s second run, click here – or head this way to read our reviews of Season 1.
Sweet Christmas! Luke Cage will return for Season 2
5th December 2016
Luke Cage will officially return for Season 2.
The comic book series, which premiered in October on Netflix, is the third of four Marvel shows produced for the streaming giant, building up to the crossover series The Defenders. The fourth and final show of the bunch, Iron Fist, will premiere in March 2017, introducing us to the last of the Hell’s Kitchen’s heroes, destined to team up Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Cage.
While we are hearing more and more news of both Iron Fist and The Defenders, though, it’s easy to forget that Cage had not yet been officially renewed for another run, despite a positive reception, a barnstorming central performance from Mike Colter and a topicality that gave it an edge other Marvel Netflix series have lacked.
“Marvel’s muscular hip-hop western is a powerful, thrilling punch to modern headlines,” we wrote in our review. “At a time when news reports repeatedly bring us word of black people being killed, Marvel’s series presents us with a black man who’s bullet-proof, no matter who’s firing the gun. It’s an inherently powerful image that gives the series a burning importance, despite its minor flaws. In the 1970s, we believed a man can fly. In 2016, Luke Cage goes one step further: it dares us to believe a black man can’t be shot.”
Now, though, the show’s second run has been given the green light, with the series’ official Twitter account teasing the news with a short video.
There is no word on when the second season will be released, but Luke Cage is at the back of a long queue: he’s the third of the four heroes to score a second solo gig, following Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Indeed, Daredevil already has two seasons under its belt and is now awaiting a third, while The Punisher, introduced in Daredevil’s second season, is getting his own spin-off show. Production on those, though, will only begin after The Defenders and Iron Fist.
The exact order from then on is not yet clear, but with those two set to debut next year, we’ll have to a sit at least one more sweet Christmas for Cage’s return. Until then, catch up with our reviews of Season 1 here.