Actors Mustafa Shakir and Gabrielle Dennis are joining the cast of the sophomore season of Marvel’s Luke Cage. But could one of them contradict a character already set to appear in next year’s Black Panther film?
Shakir, recently from HBO’s The Night Of, will appear as John McIver, described by Marvel in their announcement as “a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance.” In the comics, McIver is the real name of the villain Bushmaster, who faced off against both Misty Knight and Luke Cage. The four-color character has superhuman abilities, including strength and durability, as well as an accelerated healing factor. We’ll have to see if his on-screen counterpart will share these traits.
The character of Tilda Johnson, known in the comics as Nightshade, was recently revealed to play a part in the upcoming Black Panther. Played by actress and singer Nabiyah Be, Johnson will be partnering with Michael B. Jordan’s main baddie Eric Killmonger in the film. Be’s role was initially outed by her sister, then confirmed by the actress herself in a tweet from early June.
Curiously, the original tweet has been removed. Which makes Dennis’ casting all the more interesting.
Dennis is said to play the role of Tilda Johnson in the 13-episode second season of Luke Cage. Perhaps Marvel changed their mind on Be’s character. Or maybe this is our first direct split of a character within the larger MCU, a curious conflict we’ve yet to see previously. (No, the Marvel-Fox split of Quicksilver does not count.)
Dennis’ Johnson is described by Marvel as “a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.”
We’ll have to see what shakes out with Nightshade. Below is Marvel’s full press release on the cast additions.
Marvel Television and Netflix announced that Mustafa Shakir (“The Deuce,” “The Night Of”) and Gabrielle Dennis (“Insecure,” “Rosewood”) have joined the cast in the sophomore season of “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” set to premiere in 2018. All 13-episodes of the first season of “Marvel’s Luke Cage” are now streaming on Netflix.
Shakir has been cast as ‘John McIver,’ a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance.
Dennis will play the role of ‘Tilda Johnson’ who is a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.
“Mustafa’s incredible presence and power ignited us from our first meeting, and Gabrielle brings the charm and smarts to a very complicated role,” remarked executive producer, Jeph Loeb. “Both will be wonderful additions to our already magnificent cast.”
“I can’t wait for audiences to see the compelling paces we put both Mustafa and Gabrielle through,” said “Marvel’s Luke Cage” executive producer and showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker. “From the moment you see each of them on screen, I feel they will be powerful additions to the world of Marvel and Harlem’s Luke Cage.”
Shakir and Dennis will join returning cast members Mike Colter as ‘Luke Cage,’ Simone Missick as ‘Misty Knight,’ Rosario Dawson as ‘Claire Temple,’ Alfre Woodard as ‘Mariah Dillard,’ and Theo Rossi as ‘Shades.’
After a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) becomes a man trying to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem, New York City.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” is Executive Produced by Cheo Hodari Coker (“Ray Donovan,” “Southland”) and Aïda Croal (“The Returned,” “True Blood”) as Co-Executive Producer, along with Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Punisher,” “Marvel’s Inhumans”), and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Punisher,” “Marvel’s Inhumans”).
Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 2 will premiere on Netflix in 2018.