Why Luke Cage Will Be Such An Important Show, According To One Actor

Luke Cage

It's hard to believe, but Netflix and Marvel's Luke Cage is only a few short months away, as it will premiere at the end of September so that we call all binge watch the continued adventures of the invulnerable titular hero. There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the series, from getting one step closer to The Defenders seeing more from Luke Cage than Jessica Jones could give us. But Luke Cage is also a notable step forward for the superhero genre and for an important reason, and actor Mahershala Ali believes what makes Luke Cage so important is how its extremely diverse cast will affect younger viewers.

Mahershala Ali, known for his work in House of Cards and The Hunger Games was recently discussing his role in the Civil War-set movie The Free State of Jones, which he stars in alongside Matthew McConaughey, and the conversation inevitably turned to race and how it's portrayed on screen. Ali brought up Luke Cage, in which he plays the "Godfather-type" comic villain Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes. Luke Cage is quite possibly Netflix's most diverse project to date, and here's what Ali told.USA Today (opens in new tab) regarding his thoughts on the show's effect.

There are going to be so many kids out there who get to see a black man on that screen and aspire to be like him. We didn't have that. They get to be included.

Not only does Luke Cage have a black superhero in the lead role, but it also has a cast of supporting characters filled out by the likes of Frankie Faison, Erik LaRay Harvey, Darius Kaleb and Simone Missick, to just name a few. Mahershala Ali's villain Cottonmouth, who in the comics was a drug lord with super strength to rival Luke Cage, rounds out the cast of talented actors that will hopefully inspire young viewers in all the right ways.

And this isn't Marvel's only attempt to broaden its casting, as the upcoming Black Panther movie also showcases a mostly African-American cast to match its setting in the African nation of Wakanda. Just two big examples among many other superhero projects, but it's a step in the right direction.

Luke Cage isn't the only diverse cast on Netflix, either. Orange is the New Black is no stranger to mixing and meshing differing cultures and races, especially in its female characters. Most of the male characters, however, are white men, so Luke Cage is another step forward on that front. There's also Baz Luhrmann's upcoming drama The Get Down, a 1970s-set series that will use the music of the time to explore the lives of a group of inner city youths; it will be arriving on the streaming service at some point later this year.

Luke Cage will hit Netflix on Friday, September 30, and we'll all be able to binge all that diversified badassery in one go. Make sure to keep it here at CinemaBlend for all your Luke Cage news, and check out everything premiering this summer with our summer TV schedule.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.