With the second season of Marvel’s Luke Cage expected to premiere in 2018, Marvel Television and Netflix announced that Mustafa Shakir (The Deuce, The Night Of) and Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, Rosewood) will be joining the cast of the streaming service’s hit action-drama series. Returning to join Shakir and Dennis for the sophomore season are cast members Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), Alfre Woodard (Mariah Dillard) and Theo Rossi (Shades).
Shakir will be taking on the role of John McIver, a charismatic, natural-born leader who’s looking for vengeance with his focus set solely on Cage’s backyard of Harlem. Dennis has been cast in the role of Tilda Johnson, a brilliant, holistic doctor with a mysterious past who’s trying to make a difference in Harlem…any way she can.
For fans of the Power Man & Iron Fist comics, the addition of those two characters to the Luke Cage mythos serves as fascinating harbinger of things to come. In the comics, John McIver was a gang lord who would eventually become Bushmaster, a powerful crime boss and criminal financier who would find himself in conflict with Danny “Iron Fist” Rand, Cage and Knight time and time again.
Tilda Johnson is best known to comics fans as Nightshade, who would also find herself at odds with Rand and Cage as she attempted to use her knowledge to consolidate the Harlem underworld. She would later take up the mantle of Nighthawk from her mentor Raymond Kane after Kane was gunned down protesting Steve Rogers and the Hydra Empire in Occupy Avengers #8.
For executive producer Jeph Loeb, (Marvel’s The Punisher) the addition of Shakir and Dennis to the Luke Cage cast was obvious from the moment they first met:
“Mustafa’s incredible presence and power ignited us from our first meeting, and Gabrielle brings the charm and smarts to a very complicated role. Both will be wonderful additions to our already magnificent cast.”
Executive producer and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan) is excited for fans to see for themselves what Shakir and Dennis have to offer the Luke Cage universe:
“I can’t wait for audiences to see the compelling paces we put both Mustafa and Gabrielle through. 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.”
Summary: A hoodie-wearing, unbreakable ex-con fights to clear his name and save his neighborhood. He wasn’t looking for a fight, but the people need a hero.
Marvel’s Luke Cage is executive produced by Coker and Loeb, with Aïda Croal (True Blood) and Jim Chory (Marvel’s Inhumans). All 13 episodes of the first season are now streaming on Netflix.
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