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Netflix is already known for making huge waves in original programming, so it’s no surprise that after the success of Daredevil, the streamer is having no trouble landing great actors for their latest Marvel property, LUKE CAGE. Academy Award-nominated actress Alfre Woodard is a prime example of that; Woodard is joining the cast as a well-connected local politician named Minetta, but the buzz going around is that this is a cover and that Minetta is actually Black Maria, a drug dealer and gang leader from the comics.
Having a duel-indentitied villain seems right up Netflix’s alley, creatively. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was a completely three-dimensional character with organic motivations, insecurities, and strengths. If Minetta plays a local politician that vows to improve the neighborhood on the surface while secretly keeping the locals entrenched in drugs and gang warfare, fighting her openly would prove impossible for Luke Cage. This makes her character much more sinister than just a drug dealer; Cage can’t attack someone who is held in high regard in the public’s eye. And Alfre Woodard is a perfect choice to play that complex, divisive character.
Luke Cage is about a man (played by Mike Colter in the upcoming series) who is jailed for a crime that he didn’t commit, and then given super strength and impenetrable skin when he volunteers for a government experiment in exchange for commuting his sentence. When the experiment goes awry due to tampering from hostile guards, Cage escapes prison and returns to his hom in New York, where he learns that he can use his powers to be a force for good, and make a profit at the same time.
Colter is set to appear as Luke Cage in the upcoming Netflix/Marvel series, AKA Jessica Jones, and has already put inklings of crossover potential in the Daredevil series with the “Iron Serpent” heroin story arc. These three series set a different tone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one that acknowledges the grandiose adventures of the Avengers, but focuses on smaller heroes with personal problems that can be bigger than the villains they fight. These stories truly are character based, and that’s what makes Woodard such a perfect fit.
Alfre Woodard is repped by ICM and Circle of Confusion.
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Lance Boyle | Staff Writer
This news was first reported by Deadline.