The other day Marvel’s Luke Cage took a huge leap forward in casting Alfre Woodard for a major role, and before production begins, even more info on the third Netflix Defender has emerged. Reports place Willis “Diamondback” Stryker as a major antagonist for the series, which may also have a new love interest and official synopsis.

According to Heroic Hollywood, Stryker will be positioned as the major villain of the season (though without any casting, Woodard seems like much better odds), a childhood friend of Cage’s who framed him for a drug deal, leading to the prison stretch and medical experiment that gives Luke Cage his invulnerable skin. The report also suggests Cage and Diamondback will fall out over the affections of another childhood friend, Reva Connors.

Moreover, HH’s sources also cobbled together a synopsis organizing the new info:


Luke Cage is a former gang member who is framed for a crime. In prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, giving him super strength and bulletproof skin. Using his newfound powers, Cage escapes and becomes a hero for hire. His archenemy is Willy Stryker, a former childhood friend from Harlem. The two committed petty crimes together, and both fell for the same woman, Reva Connors, which led to their eventual falling out. It was Stryker who framed Cage for a drug deal that sent him to prison.


Thus far of Netflix’s Luke Cage, we know that Mike Colter will first debut the character in an unspecified number of Jessica Jones episodes (already seen to be super-durable as well), before headlining his own series in 2016, and reportedly going up against Cottonmouth in the first installment. Cheo Hodari Coker will showrun the third Marvel Netflix drama, believed to be beginning production in the near future.

It remains to be seen how Marvel will sort its Luke Cage villains between Woodard’s character and whomever ends up cast as Diamondback. In the meantime, keep it here for the latest on Netflix’s next series, and someone get us a Jessica Jones photo already!