Marvel's Luke Cage steps into the world of Harlem politics with the spectacular addition of Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, Annabelle). The series premieres in 2016 everywhere that Netflix is available. Throughout her storied career, Alfre Woodard has earned four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and been nominated for an Academy Award. It was originally reported that the actress will play a character named Minetta, but today's official details reveal that is not the case.
Woodard will play Mariah Dillard, a local Harlem politician--and cousin to recently announced Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes (Mahershala Ali)--who is looking to bring a new era of change to the streets she grew up on. Her personal life and professional career are thrown into turmoil by both Harlem's newest hero Luke Cage as well as her cousin Cottonmouth's nefarious acts. In the comics, there is a character named Black Mariah, but her last name was never revealed, so it isn't quite clear if Mariah Dillard is Black Mariah yet, especially since Mariah Dillard is a politician trying to clean up the streets, and Black Mariah was the leader of a notorious street gang. Here's what Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb had to say in a statement.
"Alfre has an incredible, unique, and intimidating presence on screen that makes her perfect as a leader of the Harlem community. We couldn't be more excited that an actress as celebrated and talented as Alfre has decided to join us on this adventure."
It was previously announced that Mike Colter (Marvel's Jessica Jones, The Good Wife) will play the charismatic lead character, Luke Cage, in the series, and that Mahershala Ali will bring the villainous Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes to life. Cheo Hodari Coker (Southland, Ray Donovan) will write the series' first two episodes in addition to serving as showrunner and Executive Producer.
After a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) becomes a fugitive trying to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem, New York City. But he is soon pulled out of the shadows and must fight a battle for the heart of his city--forcing him to confront a past he had tried to bury. Marvel's Luke Cage is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. Take a look at how series Mike Colter welcomed Alfre Woodard to the show.