Marvel’s Luke Cage: showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker on the Netflix show

Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Jessica Jones

by John Nugent |
Published on

Next up from the ever fruitful Marvel-Netflix partnership – the people who brought you two seasons of Daredevil and one of Jessica Jones? It’s Luke Cage, debuting on the streaming service from September 30.

In the latest issue of Empire – on sale now – the show’s executive producer and showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker, spoke to us on what we can expect from his take on the invulnerable superhero.

Coker was heavily influenced by Brian Michael Bendis’ graphic-novel series Alias — on which last year’s Jessica Jones is based – rather than the original ‘70s comics run. “I grew up reading [Luke Cage comics],” Coker says, "but there were very few times that character had the opportunity to be philosophical, or live in the real world. That was the one thing I really liked about Brian’s update of the character.”

So, as with all of Marvel’s TV and film adaptations, his is a loose interpretation of the character. “What Marvel didn’t want [as showrunner] is the fanboy that says, ‘Luke can only wear yellow!’ They wanted somebody who was gonna respect the evolution of the character, but at the same time flex it and tweak it in their own special way.”

There are, however, a few sly winks to the comic book. For example, in the first episode someone actually offers to hire Luke, a nod to the “Hero For Hire” comics subtitle, which Coker admits “was very tongue-in-cheek,” – while Luke’s corny hero name ‘Power Man’ is referenced, albeit sarcastically.

So we won’t ever see Luke wearing a big metal chain around his waist, then? Coker chuckles, enigmatically: “I wouldn’t be so sure.”

For more from Coker on Cage, be sure to pick up a copy of this month’s Empire Magazine, on sale now. You can subscribe here (including an instant digital subscription), or buy this month’s issue direct online here{ =nofollow}.

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