Meet the Newest Stars of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) family is growing in a big way. The actors to fill the shoes of one of Marvel’s most enduring couples, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, were announced this week. But even more important than that, we learned Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking on the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange.
As Marvel’s films move into their 3rd Phase, the focus is shifting from its most known heroes (Iron Man, Captain America, etc.) to those that have strong crossover appeal. One of the more anticipated movies on the horizon is Doctor Strange, the story of a gifted surgeon whose career is destroyed when his hands become injured. Opportunity arises when a sorcerer takes him under his wing trains him to fight evil forces. With the perfect casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the spell-caster, Marvel has a huge name to carry the torch of its film properties.
These announcements have also increased the number of Black superheroes coming to the screen. We’ve already learned that Chadwick Boseman will be playing Black Panther, an African King that is a skilled fighter, genius, and sole controller of a stockpile of the precious metal Vibranium. Anthony Mackie has already hit the silver screen as The Falcon, fighting alongside Captain America. Don Cheadle plays Col. James Rhodes, the pilot of the War Machine armor. Now we are getting another Black superhero to enter the fray in Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter.
Luke Cage (aka Power Man) is the victim of an experiment gone wrong that empowers him with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin. Though he went on to become a major member of the Avengers, he is best known for being a “Hero for Hire”, offering his services for money (though oftentimes doing work for free).
Cage’s other notable point is his marriage to retired superhero and private investigator Jessica Jones. Jones will be portrayed by Krysten Ritter. Formerly known as Jewel, she quit being a superhero after a horrifically bad experience, but continually gets pulled back in through her connections. The two eventually conceive a child and get married. A running plot point for the couple is keeping their child safe while maintaining the superhero life. Oftentimes, Jones is opposed to crime fighting, but she is dragged along by her husband’s calling.
The Cage/Jones casting is also important as they will also fit into the Netflix The Defenders miniseries. To date, we know the actors that are to play Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. The only outstanding player is Iron Fist. Each of these characters will have their own 13-episode series before they team up for the miniseries. Look for these titles to appear on the streaming giant in 2015.
It’s so great to see faces finally fill some of these slots. And with each decision, Marvel is feeding fans’ confidence in each of the projects they are creating. Things are shaping up nicely for the next era of Marvel’s film entertainment.
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