Fresh off of a dynamite run on Netflix's House of Cards, Marvel's Luke Cage managed to land Mahershala Ali and the show's primary antagonist. That's why it came as a shock to everyone involved after the character was killed off halfway through the first season. Cheo Hodari Coker, the showrunner of the show for both its seasons, revealed Monday night the decision to kill him off wasn't necessarily a decision made based on the story itself; rather, it was because Ali was only contracted for a set amount of episodes.
"We only had him for 7 episodes," Coker tweeted in response to a fan of the series. "That's why he agreed to do the show."
We only had him for 7 episodes. That's why he agreed to do the show.— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) July 14, 2020
As you know by now, Ali has now been cast as Blade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a move that will reboot Wesley Snipes' cult classic trilogy from the early-2000s. Prior to Ali being cast as the Daywalker, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said in 2017 he wanted to expand the MCU to include more horror-based properties. “I like both of those characters that you named, and I think, again, horror can mean a lot of things,” Feige told ComicBook.com at the time.
“Horror, did you mean a movie like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hostel or a Friday the 13th or a Poltergeist? Poltergeist is a little bit more my wheelhouse, that’s such a great movie and it scared the heck out of me, but it’s really fun. I don’t know, I certainly would like to play with as many genres as possible.”
Coker also applauded the casting choice shortly after it was revealed last July at San Diego Comic-Con. "Well...that's one way to bring back Cottonmouth from the dead," Coker tweeted. "(Smile) Happy as hell for man Mahershala. And of course he can be in Luke Cage and play Blade. Chris Evans and MBJ both played Johnny Storm and people of Cap and Killmonger first..."
Well...that’s one way to bring back Cottonmouth from the dead. (Smile) Happy as hell for my man Mahershala. And of course he can be in Luke Cage and play Blade. Chris Evans and MBJ both played Johnny Storm and people think of Cap and Killmonger first...— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) July 21, 2019
Both seasons of Luke Cage are now streaming on Netflix.