Marvel announced today that Luke Cage has found its Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes with the casting of Mahershala Ali (House of Cards, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2). In related news, Deadline reports that Simone Missick has signed on to play a character named "Missy," who is believed to actually be the Marvel character Misty Knight. The series will premiere in 2016 everywhere that Netflix is available.
Stokes, a Harlem nightclub owner, will become an unexpected foe in Luke Cage's life when Stokes' criminal activities threaten Luke's world. This news confirms a rumor that surfaced last month, which claimed Cottonmouth Stokes would be introduced in the series. In the comic books, Cottonmouth was a drug dealer who crossed paths with Luke Cage. There is also speculation that Cottonmouth could connect Luke Cage to Iron Fist, since one of the comic book arcs follows these two heroes fighting each other, after Cottonmouth teams up with another villain, Nightshade. Here's what executive producer Jeph Loeb had to say about the casting.
"Mahershala is an actor of extraordinary range and gravitas. As Cottonmouth he will really let loose. Luke Cage won't know what hit him."
In the comics, Misty Knight was a former NYPD cop who receives a bionic arm from none other than Tony Stark, after she lost her limb in the line of duty. She later teams up with Luke Cage to form their own detective agency, but it isn't known if these story lines will be followed in the TV series. We reported yesterday that Theo Rossi has signed on to play Shades, with Alfre Woodard portraying Black Mariah.
Mike Colter is set to play the charismatic lead character, Luke Cage, in the series. Cheo Hodari Coker (Southland, Ray Donovan) will write the series' first two episodes in addition to serving as showrunner and Executive Producer. Marvel's Luke Cage is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. It isn't known when production will begin on Marvel's Luke Cage quite yet.
Mahershala Ali is best known for playing Boggs in last year's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and this year's upcoming franchise finale The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, which hits theaters November 20. He will next be seen on the big screen in The Free State of Jones, alongside Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Keri Russell, which hits theaters March 11, 2016. Simone Missick recently guest starred on Showtime's Ray Donovan. What do you think about these new casting additions?