While there’s no doubting that Marvel’s first series for Netflix, Daredevil, which hit the streaming service earlier this year, was a fantastic entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most of the shine these days has shifted to their second series – Jessica Jones. A series that not only introduced Krysten Ritter as the titular badass, but also introduced fans to Mike Colter as Luke Cage, who will get his own series sometime in 2016. In a recent interview with Nerdist, Colter talked about his character’s involvement on Jessica Jones, and how he was happy to see an “unapologetic” female character. He also teased the development of the The Defenders and what he hopes to see when they come together.
As both Daredevil and Jessica Jones showcased this year, each of the Netflix shows will have their own feel and Luke Cage will be no different. According to Colter, the third series in Marvel’s deal with Netflix will be a “renaissance story”, giving us a better look at the character and where he came from.
“Given where he came from and how he evolved, it’s going to be a renaissance story. You’ll see Luke Cage in many different phases and ultimately, you’re going to find out a lot more about him as a person and a man. When you find him again, he’s trying to rebuild his life and get it all back together. [What happened in Jessica Jones] took a lot out of him—a lot happened in a short amount of time and he’s trying to regain his composure and figure out what to do with himself next. Because that was not something he signed up for.”
When we last saw Luke, he was recovering from a gun blast to the head, courtesy of Jessica who was trying to break Kilgrave’s hold on him. It was then, when Luke was recovering at Jessica’s place, that we saw her open up about having considered a future a with him, indicating that their story was far from over. (Not too surprising, given they do get married in the comics.) For Colter, however, he hopes to see their relationship develop a bit more first. Afterall, they have a few hurdles to overcome – such as Luke coming to term with both Jessica’s involvement in Reva’s death and having tried to hurt Jessica while under Kilgrave’s control.
“I’d like to see Luke and Jessica’s relationship develop a bit more. I feel like, in time, we’ll come to have a good working relationship — that’s the first step. It’s hard to see how the romantic aspect evolves because we left it in a very tense moment. And though we do have strong feelings for one another, it’s going to be hard to forget about all the things she did and move past that. That said, when you are really attracted or drawn to someone, things tend to work themselves out in the end.”
One of the things that the series did so well was perfectly weave a victim’s story in with a superheroic one. Over the course of thirteen episodes, we saw the effects of the trauma Jessica endured as she suffered with PTSD, while we also saw the agony Hope experienced after Kilgrave took over her life. It was a comic book story with superpowered characters, yes, but it was also a story that dealt with very important subject matters. For Colter, that’s what makes the series unique.
“I’m not a victim of these crimes or conditions, but when we finished I realized how unique it was and what it must appear like to the average man—and I think that’s great because it drew in an audience that was outside of the average man, of people who could relate to stuff beyond comic books. I was thinking about the important way it would resonate with rape victims and people with PTSD.”
However, as important as Jessica Jones’ subject matter was, for Colter, one of his favorite things about the series was seeing a fully realized, unapologetic woman lead the series. (Us too, Colter. Us too!)
Colter went on to add that he, “loved that it was woman-led. I loved watching a woman be a complete character without apology, and having flaws and exhibit unsavory behavior that she didn’t have to apologize for or care about. I think that’s great. It wasn’t about ‘Oh, I have to be better,’ it was just, ‘This is who I am, take it or leave it.’”
“It’s nice to see what women want to do for a change, huh?”
Colter is currently in New York filming Luke Cage, which should finish production within the next month or two. Once the show wraps production, we can expect to see Iron Fist make its way into production, to be followed shortly thereafter by The Defenders, the series that’ll bring the four characters together for the first time. It’s still a ways away, especially since we’re still waiting on an Iron Fist and a showrunner for the mini-series, but that hasn’t stopped Colter from thinking about what he’d like to see when it finally happens.
“I want to see how The Defenders come along, but I also want to see how all of us work together as individual superheroes who all have our own stories told and then ultimately come together. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out. It’s not going to be easy to figure out but the writers are very good and they have all the tools they need to keep it all together.”
You can currently catch Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones, available exclusively on Netflix.