Luke Cage Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker Talks About How Harlem Gives the Show Its Personality
Hell’s Kitchen pulses beneath everything on the Netflix Marvel shows Daredevil and Jessica Jones. The neighborhood is the people, the people are the neighborhood. Marvel’s Luke Cage takes place farther uptown in NYC, and its location will define the vibe of the show as much as those others do. During a recent interview at the red carpet premiere of Captain America: Civil War, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker as well as the show’s Misty Knight, Simone Missick, talk about how the show’s setting affects the show’s feel.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Coker talked about how Harlem and hip-hop both contribute to Luke Cage having its own distinct vibe that sets it apart from Daredevil and Jessica Jones, even though they do exist in the same world. He says, “For me, hip-hop has always been black superhero music. And now we have a black superhero that matches the music. When you think about Wu-Tang, when you think about A Tribe Called Quest records like Midnight Marauders, it’s deep in the culture, but at the same time, it’s become the new rock and roll. Everybody accepts it, everybody understands it.
That’s really the vibe of the show—on one hand, we’re dealing with Harlem in ways that really haven’t been dealt with. But at the same time, it’s a superhero show. At the same time, you get to meet Luke Cage. You get to meet Misty Knight. You get to meet all these other characters. It’s these comics come to life with a hip-hop vibe. It’s incredibly fun.
Meanwhile, Missick is thrilled to be taking on such an iconic role that is so meaningful to so many people, and she too sees the show’s Harlem setting as something that sets it apart and makes things fresh, saying, “The colors, the feel, the sounds—everything about this show is its own thing. Harlem is a character in this show. All the other shows took place in Hell’s Kitchen; this is the first one that’s taking place in Harlem, and you definitely feel that. You feel that in the music, in the conversation, in the characters, everything. It’s its own thing. Luke Cage is something completely new.”
Luke Cage premieres on Sepember 30th, which cannot come soon enough.
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