‘Luke Cage’ Star Mike Colter Explains That Shocking Character Death

Luke Cage In Action

The third series to emerge from Netflix’s set of Marvel TV shows was Luke Cage, and it was met with uproarious approval from fans and critics alike. One creative decision in the middle of the season, however, left many scratching their heads. Spoilers ahead!

The premature death of the show’s scintillating villain, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, at the hands of his ruthless cousin Mariah, was one blip on an otherwise superlative series. The final few episodes focused instead on the more personal dynamic between Luke and his destructive half-brother Diamondback. Actor Mike Colter spoke recently about the surprising choice to kill off the character everyone seemed to love to hate on ESPN’s First Take.

“The decision to do that was done way before we started production. It’s a lot of people that’s involved in this. When you do it on paper… here’s what it is. It’s like running a play in football. You do it in practise, it works, looks good. In the game, it doesn’t work, and all of the sudden in retrospect, it seems stupid. Because what you have is – all the series have a bad guy. And usually by the end of the season everybody’s going “well, we’re tired of this bad guy and we think the bad guy should’ve been – we should’ve been able to resolve this in ten episodes, in eight” – so in theory you’re going, wow, you bring another baddie in, if the baddie is good and people are you know, enthralled by this guy, now you’ve reset the series in a sense, and now people are in another direction, and they don’t know what’s going to happen. You basically knock them on their heels. It’s like running a trick play on an onside kick and you start the second half. These things work, but when they don’t work people go “aww, that was ridiculous.”

Cottonmouth was played by actor Mahershala Ali, who recently stunned audiences in his role in the award-winning film Moonlight. His take on the character of Cottonmouth is what made the villain so captivating, and undoubtedly why many questioned his departure.

The full interview is available below.

The critically acclaimed Marvel series Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are now streaming on Netflix. Iron Fist and The Defenders will be released later this year.

Source: Comicbook.com

Annabel Hynes

Annabel Hynes

Journalism student and freelance writer. Watches too much TV.

  • Math

    I thought his death was a pleasant surprise… kind of like Game of Thrones where you don’t see character deaths coming. I wouldn’t have minded having him around for more episodes, but I kind of enjoyed the fact that we don’t know when a character might live or die. If they start putting rules to not kill anyone before the end of the season, it’s going to become predictable and remove a lot of the strengths of these shows. I don’t think that was a problem with that show.

    That said, I thought that series was boring. I’m not really looking forward all that much to more Luke Cage. Maybe they can surprise me and raise their game for season 2? Both seasons of Daredevil where great. JJ was good too, but it was mostly the bad guy that was interesting. Not sure what season 2 will look like without Kilgrave.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion. Not everyone will agree with it, but I’m kind of surprised they think those where the issues with season 1 of Luke Cage.

  • Axxell

    One of the caveats of instant availability, that highlights the perks of scheduled episodic serials…I bet if they were releasing the series every week instead of dropping it all at once, they’d have seen the positive reaction to Cottonmouth and maybe opted to do it differently.