The next chapter of Marvel’s cinematic universe on Netflix premieres in just a few weeks, and the latest clip from Luke Cage offers an introduction to first-season villain Cottonmouth, the crime boss whom Luke challenges for control of Harlem.
Played by Emmy-nominated House of Cards actor Mahershala Ali, the villain Cornell Stokes — also known as Cottonmouth — is a tough-as-nails businessman whose enterprises on the wrong side of the law earn the attention of Mike Colter’s steel-skinned superhero, Luke Cage. In the new clip, Cottonmouth explains his affinity for hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls), particularly when it comes to the portrait of the rapper that appears in the crime boss’ office.
The third new series to come out of Marvel’s partnership with Netflix, Luke Cage has Colter’s character returning to Harlem after his debut in the first season of Jessica Jones. Upon his return home, he meets with a new threat that brings him out of the shadows and into the spotlight as his neighborhood’s best defense against the criminals terrorizing it. Becoming a hero doesn’t come without some troubles, though, and Luke must confront the demons of his past before he can move on.
Along with Colter in the lead role and Ali as the first-season villain, the series also stars Simone Missick (The Road to Sundance) as Misty Knight, Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction) as Rafael Scarfe, Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) as Shades, and Alfre Woodard (Cross Creek) as Mariah Dillard. Rosario Dawson, who appeared in both Daredevil and Jessica Jones, reprises her role as Claire Temple.
Cheo Hodari Coker (Notorious, NCIS: Los Angeles) serves as the showrunner on the series, and also penned the scripts for the first two episodes.
Ali follows in the footsteps of two memorable villains from the inaugural seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, with Vincent D’Onofrio earning widespread acclaim for his performance as the crime boss Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, and David Tennant generating similarly positive buzz as the telepathic Kilgrave in Jessica Jones.
Luke Cage will be followed by Iron Fist next year, and then all four title characters will come together for the crossover miniseries The Defenders in the later half of 2017.
Luke Cage will be available September 30 on Netflix.