Alfre Woodard To ‘Luke Cage’: Netflix May Have Found Their ‘Black Mariah’

Alfre Woodard is close to joining Luke Cage from Netflix, according to Deadline.

The Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress — as well as one-time Oscar contender — will reportedly play the role of Minetta, “a powerful woman in local politics who will have an impact on Luke Cage’s life,” the site adds before going on to note her probable secret identity.

Apparently Woodard will really be a version of Black Mariah, which would make a certain degree of sense since she’s a villain to both Cage and Iron Fist — another Marvel character getting the royal Netflix treatment.

Pics of Black Mariah compared to Alfre Woodard, however, show that the creative team has its work cut out for it if they want to make the actress look anything like the character.

Woodard has always been an elegant, attractive woman. Black Mariah, on the other hand…

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 1.59.27 PM

Woodard’s previous credentials include a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 1983’s Cross Creek and an appearance in the Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave.

On television, she has won Emmy Awards for The Practice, Miss Evers’ Boys, L.A. Law, and Hill Street Blues.

Her apparent adversary in the Luke Cage Netflix series will be Mike Colter, who plays the title role.

Cage was born Carl Lucas in the comic books. He has also gone by the identity of Power Man, and his claim to fame is that he has unbreakable skin and superhuman strength.

The character first debuted in 1972 but didn’t start getting serious talk about a live-action treatment until 2003. At the time, Cage was tapped for the big screen and attracted the interest of everyone from Idris Elba to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Both men would have still been likely choices for the role even after film and TV rights reverted back to Marvel in 2013, so casting relative unknown Colter in the role was a bit of a coup (and a refreshing one at that).

Colter has had a long and successful career, but most of it has occurred in lesser roles on television and the big screen. When he appears as Luke Cage on Marvel’s next Netflix series, Jessica Jones, it will be the first time the Cage character has appeared anywhere outside of comics and cartoons.

What do you think about the choice to cast Alfre Woodard as Black Mariah in the upcoming Luke Cage series? Sound off in the comments section.

[Black Mariah Image via Squarespace, Featured Image via Helga Esteb /]

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