For years, San Diego Comic-Con has been known for its large, loud and exceedingly secretive movies panels. The biggest buzz maker has usually been the big Marvel Studios movie presentation. But on Thursday night, Marvel’s TV panel challenged the cinematic universe in the hype battle, and it’s all thanks to the new Netflix series “Luke Cage.”
Cast members from Netflix’s block of steadily growing Marvel shows joined Executive Vice President of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb onstage for a quick check-in. The Punisher, played by Jon Bernthal, popped in to support “Daredevil” and his “Punisher” spinoff. The actor was sporting a noticeably large beard. Perhaps his character Frank Castle has gone a little feral in his spinoff series? Only time will tell.
But mainly this was a "Luke Cage” coming out panel. Showrunner Cheo Coker and the “Luke Cage” cast of Frank Whaley, Theo Rossi, Simone Missick, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard and the titular character Cage, Mike Colter, were the main event.
Here’s what we learned about the new “Luke Cage” series:
- Many, many “Cage” clips were played, including a new teaser trailer embedded below. In these clips Cage can be seen ripping off car doors, fighting off alleged bad folks and being generally impenetrable (because Luke Cage has bulletproof skin).
- In one clip, things got pretty hot and heavy between Missick’s character, crowd favorite Misty Knight, and Cage, but it cut just as things got a bit too steamy for the Hall H crowd. Guess that means Cage might be over his ex Jessica Jones?
- Coker revealed that the name of every episode on “Luke Cage” was the name of a Gang Starr (the East Coast hip-hop duo) album.
- The theme of music, specifically hip-hop music, permeated the show. Old Dirty Bastard rapped over the action during one clip. Whaley (who plays Detective Scarfe) stressed that, "Cheo infused music into the script and I felt the soul of what [the show was going to be.]”
- Colter let it slip that “Luke Cage” would be debuting Sept. 30 on Netflix. Loeb backed him up, repeating it for the crowd.
- Loeb also made a point to say that Rosario Dawson, a common thread through the Marvel shows, was back in New York filming scenes for an unnamed Marvel-Netflix project.
- Woodard (who plays Mariah Dillard), said the setting of “Luke Cage” was one of the reasons she wanted to be a part of the series: "Harlem deserves a number on the call sheet. Everything that made Harlem what it is now, was there [in the show.]”
- Continuing with the musical theme, Coker explained that Cage would be part of the “Wu-Tangification of the Marvel Universe.” He also mentioned that watching shows like “Luke Cage” is akin to when folks used to buy a new record, go home and sit and listen to all of it in one sitting. Binge listening has become binge watching.
To end the panel, Loeb showed two short but enticing teasers. The first was for “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” which was introduced by the new Iron Fist himself, actor Finn Jones. This lead into a short discussion about Netflix’s Avengers-like series “Marvel’s Defenders” which will combine “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Daredevil” and the “Iron Fist” into their own hero club. Loeb said that they were laying the groundwork for “Marvel’s Defenders” and then debuted a teaser.
The teaser was a mostly just a title reveal but that, combined with the “Luke Cage” cast and crew, sent the crowd out on a huge high.