San Diego Comic Con has been underway for a few days now, and we’ve already got plenty of exciting news from the Marvel Television department. A particular focus was on the Netflix television projects, which have enjoyed a lot of success already, with several new trailers having been released.
First up is Luke Cage, which will be landing on Netflix on September 30th of this year. The series follows Luke Cage, its eponymous hero, following the events of Jessica Jones; Luke Cage was a recurring character throughout that series, portrayed by Mike Colter.
What immediately stands out from the above trailer is the sheer physicality of the role; it’s quite clear that Luke Cage will carry on the precedent set by Daredevil and Jessica Jones, both of which are known for their visceral and impressive action set pieces. We also get our first glimpse of Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, the villain of this program - he’s been described as something of a Godfather type adversary, a crime boss hiding behind legitimate enterprise.
The series itself has been described as Marvel’s version of The Wire, with executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker (who has previously worked on a variety of crime dramas) stating that the series would “deal with a lot of different issues”. Mike Colter has said that elements of the series will “ring true” in terms of current society, which Jeph Loeb (head of Marvel Television) has agreed with, suggesting the series would “resonate” in the present day.
A far shorter trailer this time; Marvel’s Iron Fist is still, I believe, in the filming process, and thus is a series we don’t quite know as much about. From the trailer, we get our first glimpses at Danny Rand’s origin, as well as a few hints at how Marvel might be planning on dealing with some of the more… outlandish aspects of this origins. (Part of Rand’s origin was punching a dragon; it’s possible, given the scenes of him in what looks to be a mental ward, that this dragon-punching adventure will be metaphorical or hallucinatory. This is, though, just speculation at the minute.)
In the title role as Danny Rand is Finn Jones, who Game of Thrones viewers will know as Loras Tyrell. Jones’ casting attracted a degree of controversy, as there had been a longstanding debate as to whether or not an Asian actor should have been cast in the role; advocates for this position pointed out the need for greater diversity and increased Asian representation in the MCU, whereas others suggested that casting an Asian person in the role of the magical kung fu hero might not be as progressive as one would hope.
The showrunner for Iron Fist is Scott Buck, who is perhaps best known as the executive producer for the highly controversial final three seasons of Dexter. Though Buck has not yet publically commented on the series, Joe Quesada (Marvel Comics’ editor in chief) has stated that Buck and the other writers would be focusing on “some great legends from Marvel present and past”.
No actual footage here, and for obvious reason; The Defenders hasn’t yet started shooting. At the minute, it’s the series we know the least about, however this teaser gives a few tantalising hints. Given that we hear the voice of Scott Glenn’s Stick, a recurring character from Daredevil, it’s heavily implied that The Defenders will carry on the ninja related plotline from the second season of Daredevil. (This is further supported by the fact that the logo for The Defenders is in the shape of a hand, amnd ‘The Hand’ was the name of the ninja group from Daredevil.)
Currently we know that The Defenders will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist teaming up; it’s also possible that we’ll see Jon Bernthal reprising his role as the Punisher, hinted at by a short appearance by his logo in the above clip. The Defenders will be a miniseries, likely eight episodes in length; the showrunners for Daredevil Season 2, Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, will also be filling the executive producer role for this series.
Daredevil Season 3 has now been formally announced; a short teaser can be seen here.
A second season of Jessica Jones will also film alongisde The Defenders, making it the first individual character season to air following the group team up.
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