We are three weeks from finally setting our eyes on the entirety of Luke Cage, the third Marvel series on Netflix. This hip-hop fueled show, which is already getting rave reviews, is promising to be a treat, and show-runner Cheo Hodari Coker has promised it’ll deliver an entirely new tone for the MCU. Of course, we have already met the leading man, Mike Colter during last year’s Jessica Jones, however, this will be the first time Colter leads his own series as the character. Vulture spoke to him recently about moving into the leading role, and what that means to him.
Were you nervous about headlining a show?
That didn’t bother me. I just thought, Hey, I’ll just come to work and shoot more scenes. When I went to the show and showed up on set, the first thing I told a lot of the other actors who were there [was], “Look, when I’m on set, it’s not just my show. Pretend that it’s your show. Go about your business as if this is your show.” I wanted their best work. I’m only as good as they are.
When it comes to Luke Cage, there are various reason to be excited about the series. Sure, Luke Cage is a great character, and yes, Colter is an excellent actor. What little we’ve already seen of him in Jessica Jones shows a promising story to be told during the show’s first season. However, there’s one obvious factor that makes this series so important – the fact that it’s a predominantly black superhero series. Luke Cage is coming at a time when fans are demanding more diversity from Hollywood, and while Marvel Studios has been slow to the punch, Marvel Television has been quick to see to it that they properly represent the world we live in. Of course, while race places a huge part in this series overall, according to Colter, it’s not the main focus of the story.
The show has an almost entirely black cast and deals openly with issues facing people of color. How important is race to the show?
It’s important in the sense that we could, hopefully, create more opportunities of this kind. But race doesn’t have a lot to do with Luke Cage other than the fact that we want to show people that there are positive images to be had from black men, especially ones in hoodies. We’re not trying to say, “Every time you turn on this show, we’re gonna teach you a lesson.” There are lessons to be learned, but I don’t know that I’m the one to say which ones they are.
Colter’s comments match what Coker has said, in that the existence of a “bulletproof black man” has the chance to change people’s views. We will all get to see what this world looks like on September 30th, when the full season of Luke Cage is available for streaming, on Netflix.