Here is some great news, as we finally are getting some confirmation on what new faces we can expect in the second season of Marvel’s Netflix show, Luke Cage. It was revealed last month that they have already begun production on the continuation of Power Man’s story within the MCU, but outside of that not much is known about the project. Now we have official confirmation that actors Mustafa Shakir, known for his roles on The Deuce and The Night Of will be joining the cast alongside Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, Rosewood) for the next 13 episode season.
Not only did we get the confirmations that they are joining the cast, but also received some information on who exactly they will be playing. Shakir was cast as John McIver, who is described as being a “natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance.” In our exclusive breakdown of a character known only as Byron, who we theorised would turn out to be McIver also known as Bushmaster, which now turns out to be true. Going by this description we can expect that Luke will face a rather dangerous foe with McIver, who may try to take over Harlem. His character also had a snake costume, which would continue the “snake” theme that ran with Cottonmouth and Diamondback. Going by this trend it would make sense that the actor will be our new main villain.
Actress Dennis will be portraying Tilda Johnson, who is described as “a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.” As both actors have been announced int heir respective roles, it would make sense that there is a strong connection between these two and with the confirmed return of Mariah Dillard, we may see more of the extended family that once ruled Harlem. Going by the breakdown, we theorised her character would be Luke Cage’s sister, as her name mentioned was noted to be Tamara in the casting breakdown.
Jeph Loeb, the mastermind behind Marvel TV, offered the following comments:
“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, Cheo Hodari Coker, who is returning for the second season also had the following comments to make:
“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.”
Actually, the most bizarre part of this announcement was the fact that the character of Tilda Johnson was confirmed to be portrayed by actress Nabiyah Be in the upcoming Marvel Studios film, Black Panther. There are many possible explanations to why exactly we have the same character appearing in two Marvel projects, which are supposed to share the same universe.
On the one hand, this could be another case similar to Tina Minoru, who was confirmed to appear in Doctor Strange, but was later recast for Runaways by another actress, who was aged up to fit better as Nico Minoru’s mother. At first it was strange to see Marvel TV to break in-universe canon, but given that the actress’ character was never officially named in the film, she technically only had the connection of being in possession of the Staff of One. The other option would be that they are simply playing two characters with the exact same name, which is not that surprising given how many people live in our world and share the exact same name.
What is your opinion on the matter? Do you like the casting? What do you think we can expect from Season 2? Do you think Marvel TV may be moving further away from Marvel Studios?