The cast of Marvel’s Luke Cage is almost set after casting Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes. According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, Marvel has cast Mahershala Ali to play Cornell Stokes, also known as Cornell Cottonmouth, in Luke Cage, the Netflix original series. Ali joins a cast that includes Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson, Simone Missick, and Theo Rossi.
About the casting of Ali in the role, Marvel’s head of Television Jeph Loeb said, “Mahershala is an actor of extraordinary range and gravitas. As Cottonmouth he will really let loose. Luke Cage won’t know what hit him.”Ali has a long and impressive acting career in both film and television, but genre fans might recognize him in shows similar to the Marvel project. He not only starred in The 4400 several years ago, but also in Alphas. Both science fiction series were heavy on the action and both featured the premise that some human beings had extraordinary abilities. More recently, he’s also appeared in the critically acclaimed Netflix series House of Cards and the blockbuster Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One. Ali should fit right in on a Marvel set.
In the comics, Cornell Cottonmouth is a drug lord in New York and Luke Cage worked initially for Cornell Cottonmouth before Cottonmouth found out that Luke Cage was stealing his records. Cottonmouth has super strength that rivals Luke Cage and just as his name suggests he has sharp teeth and good knowledge of different poisons (Cottonmouth is a deadly poisonous snake, in case you haven’t heard of it).
In the series, Cornell Stokes owns a nightclub where some illegal activities take place. Obviously, Luke Cage can’t have that! Cottonmouth joins a full cast of villains in Luke Cage, including Shades, played by Theo Rossi, and, likely, Black Mariah, played by Alfre Woodard.
Marvel’s Luke Cage will be the third of for Marvel-Netflix shows, following Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and preceding Iron Fist. All four Marvel shows will come together in an eight-episode miniseries called The Defenders.
Marvel’s Luke Cage premieres on Netflix sometime in 2016.