Marvel’s grand experiment in expanding its cinematic universe to Netflix kicks off in 2015, and with the lead actors already in place for Daredevil, the casting process for the next two series’ — Jessica Jones and Luke Cage — is reportedly underway. And if recent reports are to be believed, the studio has narrowed the list of potential actors down to five actresses for the title role in Jessica Jones and three actors for the title role in Luke Cage.
According to Deadline, the current list of actresses vying for the role of Jessica Jones, a former superhero who hangs up her costume and opens a detective agency, includes Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), Alexandra Daddario (True Detective), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies), Marin Ireland (The Divide), and Jessica De Gouw (Arrow).
All five actresses have had some exposure to genre projects like Jessica Jones, which is being executive produced by Melissa Rosenberg, who penned the screenplays for the Twilight films as well as several episodes of Dexter. She also served as a writer on the short-lived Birds of Prey series on The WB, which featured a group of female superheroes from the DC Comics universe.
It’s worth noting that De Gouw currently plays The Huntress — a DC Comics character — on the ongoing television series Arrow.
As for Luke Cage, the competition for the title role in that series — which follows a former convict who’s subjected to an experiment that gives him powerful abilities — reportedly includes Crisis actor Lance Gross, The Good Wife and The Following actor Mike Colter, and Transparent actor Cleo Anthony. Colter also plays the lead role in Halo: Nightfall, the live-action series based on the Halo game franchise and produced by Ridley Scott, that premiered in November 2014.
Although Jessica Jones will debut before Luke Cage, the latter character is expected to be a regular character in Jessica Jones before headlining his own solo series. All four solo series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) will eventually come together for a team-up series titled The Defenders.
Daredevil is expected to premiere in 2015.