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Luke Cage producer compares Netflix's Marvel series to The Wire

The showrunner and cast dish on the streaming show at ‘Captain America: Civil War’ premiere

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Fans of the canceled HBO series The Wire will be able to get a fresh fix of gritty drama in the form of Netflix’s upcoming series Luke Cage, as executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker tells EW the Marvel adaptation has an edge unlike most of its genre brethren.

Speaking on the red carpet outside Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre at Tuesday’s Captain America: Civil War premiere, Coker, who wrote the first two episodes of Luke Cage in addition to taking on showrunner duties, says it will be the first in the Marvel family to feature characters based entirely in Harlem versus Hell’s Kitchen. Plus, he explains the show — which tells the story of a man who becomes a fugitive antihero after a botched experiment endows him with superhuman abilities — feels like a powerful fusion of dark drama, hip-hop, and classic superhero action.

“It’s very sophisticated. I mean, it’s got a ’90s hip-hop vibe, but it’s really forward-thinking. We have Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad doing the scoring for us,” Coker says of the show, which focuses on Cage, who debuted during season 1 of Jessica Jones, and introduces comic book character Misty Knight to the Marvel television universe. “We have a lot of different musical appearances, but at the same time, we’ve got the Marvel action. We’ve got drama. I would like this to be, I mean, I know this is heavy but, The Wire of Marvel television, because we really deal with a lot of different issues.”

Mike Colter and Simone Missick, who play Cage and Knight, respectively, were also on the Captain America: Civil War red carpet, with the latter explaining what it’s like to play a character who is so beloved by so many fans. “[Misty Knight] is so larger than life, and being able to put the voice to it for the first time is exciting,” shares Missick. “And then the writing was so rich. It was like, every day that you open the script, you’re like, ‘I really get to say this today? I get to do this today? I get to kick ass today?’ So it was a lot of fun.”

Colter says while he’ll do justice to the iconic character, the series does make some changes along the way. “We were trying not to be on the nose. We’re going to give all the fans all the things they want,” the Ringer and Men in Black 3 actor says. “But we’ve got to bring it up a bit and step into the current time. So we’re going to make sure everybody’s happy, but don’t expect a yellow shirt every day. Let’s put it that way … We brought it to mustard. We started there. We knocked it down a bit. Not so bright.”

During the first weekend of April, when asked what fans can expect from the show, Colter previously told an audience at Wizard World in St. Louis to “prepare for badassery!”

In addition to Colter and Missick, the series’ supporting cast includes Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, and Rosario Dawson, who reprises the role of Claire Temple from Netflix’s other Marvel properties, Daredevil and Jessica Jones.

Luke Cage premieres September 30 on Netflix streaming. Watch the teaser trailer in the video below.

Reporting by Scott Huver