Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker says the positive response to his sophomore season of the hit Marvel-Netflix series “feels good.”
“Although it’s like being in a movie, ‘Yay,’ then of course you get capped and stuff like that. It’s always precarious being a black man in any movie,” Coker joked to Fatman on Batman hosts Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin.
Coker, a former music journalist, aimed for season 2 to mirror the concept of a second studio album that outdoes the first, pointing to acclaimed breakthrough albums by The Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and Ice Cube.
“Back in the ‘90s, I used to write for Vibe magazine, The Source, a lot of places. So the metaphor that I used for the writing room when we were together was, ‘Let’s try to make this season like [Beastie Boys’] Paul’s Boutique or [A Tribe Called Quest’s] The Low End Theory or [Ice Cube’s] Death Certificate,” Coker said.
“Like the second album that kind of raises the stakes, gives you everything you loved about the first, but really elevates the entire enterprise. That was really what we tried to do. I can’t be the judge of whether or not we actually pulled it off, but I feel really good about what we did.”
Asked about finding success a second time as showrunner, Coker referenced legendary music producers Quincy Jones and Phil Spector.
“For me, everything is music, so I think there’s basically two different types of showrunners. Either you’re a Quincy Jones type or you’re a Phil Spector type,” Coker explained.
“Phil Spector, of course, beyond being a murderer ,was a brilliant [laughs] — as a producer, was very much a Svengali, ‘it’s all about me, you do what I say,’ the singer is only the implement of his genius. That’s not me. I’m more like the Quincy Jones type, which is different, in that you basically — Quincy Jones produced Ray Charles, produced Michael Jackson, produced Frank Sinatra all differently. And basically built everything around the star.
“So you basically treat — in this case, [Luke Cage actor] Mike Colter is your lead singer. And so you basically just try to make all the pieces fit, and you treat every single actor the same in that way.”4comments
Luke Cage season 2 boasts an 84% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, just a dip below the 94% earned by its preceding season in 2016.
All episodes of Luke Cage are now streaming on Netflix.