Mike Colter Talks Playing Marvel’s Luke Cage for Netflix

“It’s geared towards an adult audience, which is something that will be different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you’ve seen before on the big screen,” says Colter. “I’m excited about playing the character because I’ve read the comic books. They’re very detailed, gritty; the world they’ve written in the comic books is very clear. Marvel does a fantastic job about bringing human stories – because you’re telling big stories with a heart at the center of it – and that’s what connects all of the characters to our audience members.”

That grittiness will carry into all four New York-centric series Netflix and Marvel Entertainment have planned, starting with this April’s “Daredevil,” through “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” all leading into the eventual team-up show “The Defenders.” Colter is excited about the possibilities in playing the hero with unbreakable skin and superhuman strength, who in the comic books eventually forms a duo with Iron Fist and marries Jessica Jones.

“What I’m most excited about is touching on what makes him tick,” Colter says. “It feels good to get a character that has such a story, background, and history. And when I look at the scripts, I’m really pleased with it because it’s a slow-burn; there’s nothing happening really fast that gets ahead of itself. We have a more gritty, focused story on our heroes and characters that live in New York City.”

From the character’s debut in 1972’s “Luke Cage, Hero for Hire” he was designed to emulate the Blaxploitation films of the era, but Colter doesn’t see race as playing a huge part in his interpretation.

“I’m a black male who’s playing a character who has historically been black,” he declares. “The approach with the character for me is more about the human qualities and the things that make Luke Cage tick. And the writers have to then decide to bring in the race of the character, if there’s an angle there. But I don’t look at it as something I have to prep differently for, because I am what I am and I approach the characters as they have to then be played by me, Mike Colter – the actor who happens to be black. It’s more of an aside, rather than something I take on by the horns. It doesn’t really factor for me at all.”

(Photo Credit: WENN)