Despite speculation to the contrary, it looks like "Angel" alum J. August Richards is not playing Luke Cage in Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", despite displaying a similar powerset in the show's trailer. In an interview with IGN, executive producer Jeffrey Bell denied that Richards would be playing the hero with unbreakable skin.
"[He] Killed it! He’s so good," Bell told IGN in response to a question about Richards. "He’s so good, because we were looking for this character M-- I almost said his name. It’s not the one people are talking about. … I’m going to say that’s an interesting Marvel character, but no. But he came in and killed it. Honestly, we were looking for this part, and we just said, look, all our parts are open to all diversity. So the fact that we have a black dude who is awesome and it's J, was just because he was the best actor. It wasn’t like, 'You know who…!'"
(IGN noted that the "M" sound Bell made could very well have been a strong "Hmm" sound when he stopped himself, rather than actually starting to say a name.)
The executive producer went on to say that the character may "not necessarily" be familiar to those who read Marvel comics.
"We’re going to draw from it, but Marvel has its thing, and we’re also going to be expanding forward, and this world is different since 'The Avengers,'" Bell said. "So I think there will be people showing up, some from the Marvel Universe and some not. But to commit to anything more would be telling."
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." premieres this fall on ABC.