Luke Cage Showrunner Says They Don't Play It Safe

Later this month, Luke Cage will finally be making its way to Netflix to fans’ delight. The much-anticipated series will bring Luke out from the shadow of Jessica Jones, pushing him into a leading spotlight. The team behind the show has been vocal about how Luke Cage will push boundaries and bring important social justice issues to popular audiences. And, now, the show's writer is saying the show doesn't play it safe.

Writer Cheo Hodari Coker spoke with Entertainment Weekly recently and said Luke Cage won’t tip-toe around the real-world issues plaguing African-American communities. “We’re doing things that people are thinking about and not just playing it safe,” he said. “People need to see themselves or feel like they’re being represented in a real, honest, and three-dimensional way.”

Earlier this year, Coker indicated Luke Cage would address several controversial issues like the slew of recent deaths of black men. The writer nodded towards the issue, saying, “When I think about what’s going on in the world right now, the world is ready for a bulletproof black man.” The bold statement was met with mixed reactions as Coker’s word signaled that Luke Cage was ready to unapologetically tackle both Harlem baddies and hotbed cultural wars.

To do this, the show intends to embrace the legacy of black superheroes and mix in social consciousness. Coker said, “When you say ‘blaxploitation,’ people usually think bell-bottoms and a waka waka soundtrack, but ultimately, it is black characters getting to act the same way that their white counterparts did.” Instead of buying into previous tropes about black superheroes, Luke Cage is set to blaze a new path that’ll guide heroes who are to come.

Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel TV, has also spoke about how Luke Cage will feature very important conversations.

“It really is incumbent on us to make sure each show has a different feeling to it. when we brought in [showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker], one of the things that we talked about was what makes Luke different,” Loeb started.

“You can't set out to do Luke Cage and not deal with the reality of what's going on in this country, and what's going on in general,” he said. “It's not what the show's about, but if we can get our message out, which is, 'This is all one planet, and we're going to have figure it out' -- you just can't put up walls and try to figure it out that way. We made a show which has great fun, great action, all the things that you want out of Luke Cage.”


If you’re interested in reading some fans’ thoughts on Luke Cage,’s Matthew Mueller reviewed the first seven episodes of the series with 5/5 stars.

Marvel’s Luke Cage will start streaming on Netflix on Sept. 30.