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Marvel's 'Luke Cage' casting Alfre Woodard as major villain

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Marvel’s Luke Cage is nearly done filling a major role.

Emmy winner Alfre Woodard is in final talks to join the upcoming Netflix series as a key villian, EW has learned.

She’ll play a “powerful woman in local politics who will have an impact on Luke Cage’s life.” 

Cage is played by Mike Colter (The Good Wife), and in the comics the character is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and develops super strength. Which character Woodard plays from the original mythology—assuming she’s not portraying a wholly new creation—is not clear. There is one major villain in the comics who is a female politician, sort of—Lucia Von Bardas—but was was the prime minister of the fictional nation of Latveria (and a cyborg, to boot). 

Woodard has 18 Emmy noms under her belt, along with arcs on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, HBO’s True Blood and TNT’s The Last Ship.

Luke Cage is expected to be the third entry in Netflix’s super-ambitious Marvel series master plan:

First up was this year’s critically acclaimed Daredevil, which had Charlie Cox going under the red cowl to clean up Hell’s Kitchen. Season 2 is expected next spring with new showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez who took over for Steven S. DeKnight.

Next up is Jessica Jones, with Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23) as a private investigator with super strength. Jones is expected to begin streaming in December.

Then comes Cage. The character will first be introduced in the Jones series, as the duo are a couple in the comics. The plan is to roll out Luke Cage sometime in 2016.  

Finally, there’s Iron Fist. Fist is martial artist, in a role that’s not yet been cast (Secrets & Lies star Ryan Phillippe was rumored to be under consideration, but he recently joined USA Network’s Shooter series).

Once all four shows have come online, Netflix will combine their Marvel heroes together — Avengers style — in a Defenders series.

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