‘Luke Cage’ Trailer Breakdown: 18 Steely Details You Might Have Missed
Weeks after its first official teaser at Comic-Con, Marvel’s Netflix Luke Cage got us all misty with a proper trailer, teasing some snakelike foes, and familiar faces for the Harlem hero. We couldn’t help diving way deeper into every frame of footage, to find every secret in anticipation of Luke Cage hitting the streets next month.
Beware of major spoilers, and check out everything we found in our inside look at the secrets of Marvel’s Luke Cage trailer!
I Mean, At Least Try to Get Out of the Way?
Right off the bat, we’re treated to a car bearing down on two figures, quickly revealed as Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, and Frank Whaley’s Rafael Scarfe, until Luke Cage himself intervenes to stop the charge.
Avengers Tower, Assemble Already!
That’s the U.N. building on the far right, meaning we’re look at Midtown Manhattan from the east, and nowhere near Harlem just yet. Just out of the frame to the right would be the Metlife building, or as the TV shows stubbornly refuse to address, Avengers Tower. One day, guys!
Meet The Wire star Frankie Faison, onboard as “Pop,” Luke Cage’s barber shop owner, mentor, and friend. We’ll come back to him later, but the outlook for Pop and his shop are not so good.
Sweet Christmas, They Worked in the Tiara!
“You think I asked for this? I was put in some tank like an exotic fish, came out with abilities. I just want to be left the hell alone.”
Obviously, we’re getting a glimpse of Luke Cage’s origin story, presumably true to the comics as an experiment-gone-awry in Seagate Prison. It’s hard to pick out any of the actors here, but who cares? They actually found a place for the gauntlets and tiara! And the hair!
Okay, obviously “Black Panther Party” has a different meaning in historical context. Let us dream, alright?
“Harlem. Perpetual symbol of hope and prosperity.”
At 00:35 we see our first look at Alfre Woodard as Councilwoman Mariah Dillard, an updated take on comic villain Black Mariah. If you look at the exterior precinct shot before, you’ll see what appears to be Mariah leading a press conference, potentially alongside Mahersala Ali’s Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, her cousin.
Future’s So Bright …
“Too much happens in the shadows. People fear what they can’t see.”
00:41 gives us our first look at Theo Rossi as the aptly-named “Shades,” described as “relentless and menacing, smooth and manipulative, street smart and controlling.” We’ll come back to him, as well as this shot with Luke and Claire walking through the park.
The Junkyard Gang
Hey, something happens in a junkyard! Okay then. Hard to identify the shooter below, but it’s at least likely this scene occurs in the first two episodes, given that director Paul McGuigan previously tweeted about shooting all night in a junkyard in Brooklyn.
The more you know!
Mouth of Cotton
“Everybody wants to be the king.”
At 0:47, we get our first look at House of Cards star Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, the season’s primary villain. As befitting a gangster, an entourage of beautiful women, soulful piano-playing, money, and beating people up are all par for the course.
The Biggie poster’s a nice touch, though.
They Popped Pop!
Those monsters! How dare they drag Luke Cage out of his peaceful life into some sort of ongoing plot! In any case, Pop’s shop looks pretty well done-for, and as for Pop himself? Well …
So who did it? This shady jerk.
Either way, it looks like Claire’s the one to shake Luke out of his apathy. She does have some experience with vigilantes, after all.
The Bad Guys
Were the connection between Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard not explicit enough, here they are together at 1:13, presumably applauding one of singers below. Speaking of which, we know at least a few music acts will put in actual appearances, but the song here is “Heart is Full” by Mike Snow feat. Run the Jewels.
The Real Man of Steel
“I don’t like your tone.”
Come on, we could watch Luke Cage’s face breaking someone’s hand all day.
Gettin’ Misty in Here
“You might be bulletproof, but Harlem isn’t.”
After a sharp-dressed Luke takes on some thugs in Cottonmouth’s club, we see the full jacketed look in front of Pop’s since-shuttered barber shop. The shrine outside doesn’t bode well for anyone (more on that in a minute), but look! Our first Misty Knight appearance!
Then a second at 1:55, with Detective Scarfe behind her.
Then again at 1:57. This scene actually screened at Comic-Con; /Film has a good description.
We are guessing Luke did not succeed in defending the Chinese restaurant.
“This city is supposed to represent our hopes and dreams. You have to fight for what’s right, every single day.”
At 1:58 we see Luke at what looks to be a funeral, but don’t pour one out for Pop just yet. If we skip ahead to 2:05, Luke is seen fleeing Cottonmouth’s club with someone in his arms, while these memorial-looking posters stand in the background.
We did see Luke attempting to cover someone in the barber-shop shootout; the victim could be who we’re seeing onstage. That said, the figure in the photo does appear strangely roughed-up for a memorial shot.
Now, here’s a curious one. At 2:01, we see a figure in a Humvee with some high-grade weaponry taking aim at Luke and Claire out on their walk from earlier.
We see the same hummer at 2:08 …
Just one shot after this arm busts through a locker room wall on Claire.
Best guess, Erik LaRay Harvey’s Diamondback? He had a military vibe about him in set photos.
This would appear to be the interior of the Apollo Theater, which can’t seem to catch a break in the Marvel universe. Whoever Cage is fighting (maybe Shades?) appears to have enough strength to at least go toe-to-toe with the hero.
Hero-for-Hire, Open for Business
At some point, it looks as if Luke Cage is going to go public, or at least be pressed by reporters to. Note what looks to be Misty Knight over Luke’s right shoulder, who he turns and locks eyes with in the next shot.
Well, what do we think? Does Luke Cage seem promising? What other details from the trailer are worth another look? Stay tuned for the latest, and get ready to hit the streets for Luke Cage's September 30 premiere!