These Actors Are Testing for Marvel's Jessica Jones and Luke Cage
With Daredevil's pilot filmed and set to come out in May 2015, it's time to look towards the future, and at the other Defenders Netflix series. The search for actors to play iconic Marvel superheroes Jessica Jones and Luke Cage is underway, and Deadline reports that actresses testing for Jessica Jones include Warm Bodies's Teresa Palmer, Percy Jackson and True Detective's Alexandra Daddario, Breaking Bad's Krysten Ritter, and Arrow's Jessica De Gouw, while the current shortlist for Luke Cage includes The Following's Mike Colter, Cleo Anthony, who had a small role in Divergent, and Lance Gross.
Jessica Jones is an unconventional comic book character who essentially serves as a critique of superheroes. Her origin story starts out like any other: she gained super-strength and invulnerability from a car crash that left her orphaned and exposed her to massive amounts of radiation. But then, after a couple of aborted attempts to become comfortable with being a masked superhero that lead to demoralizing experiences with heroes and villains alike, she becomes disillusioned with the whole concept and opens her own detective agency.
All four of the actresses up for the role have impressive pedigrees, but Jones is fairly tortured and abrasive, and some fans are already worried that the suggested actresses aren't "dark" enough to play the character. I don't personally share these concerns, as all four actresses have experience with dark material. True Detective and Breaking Bad are as dark as they come, while De Gouw's Huntress is a fairly dark comic book character (although her acting has received mixed reviews). Palmer hasn't been given much of a chance at high-profile dramatic roles in the US, but she began her career starring in the film 2:37, which garnered her an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for playing a high school student who becomes suicidal after being raped and impregnated by her brother.
The actors testing for Luke Cage have attracted less commentary, as they are lesser-known, but opinions are sure to start rolling in, as the character is extremely important to Jessica Jones's story and to the Marvel Universe in general. "Hero for Hire" Luke Cage is also Jones's longtime lover in the comics, and is set to appear in 6-7 episodes of the Jessica Jones series before headlining his own. After their own series, they will both come together with Daredevil and Iron Fist for the culminating Defenders miniseries.
It is unknown whether the stars of these series, which all take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will ever appear in the films, although considering the upcoming Civil War MCU plotline, it's looking more and more likely that characters will cross over. Jessica Jones was also best friends with Captain Marvel in the comics, which has led some to speculate that Carol Danvers will appear in the series before her solo film arrives.