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'Luke Cage' Takes Over Manila For APCC

Netflix brings Mike Colter, Mustafa Shakir, and Cheo Hodari Coker to the Philippines
by Arthur de Luzuriaga | Jul 27, 2018
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For this year’s AsiaPOP Comicon, Netflix brought in Luke Cage Creator Cheo Hodari Coker, Mustafa Shakir who plays Bushmaster, and Power Man himself Mike Colter to promote the ongoing second season of the show and say hello their Philippine fans. to was able to sit down with the trio and discuss the show’s international appeal despite the fact that its story is so closely tied in with its environment, Harlem.  “The fact of the matter is, particularly when you’re dealing with the African-American experience so many things come at you at once and so you can’t really write towards all of it. You just try to tell the most personable story you can. And in doing that, you find that you’ll hit a cross-section of the universal human experience,” states Coker. “The show is what I call inclusively Black, what I mean by that is that it’s a show that’s very much a product of the African-American experience in the United States, but it’s universally loved and appreciated because even though it’s coming from a deep part of the culture, it’s really for the world. I would liken it to an album like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, or Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, or Stevie Wonder’s Songs From The Key Of Life," he adds.

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Because Luke Cage, as a show, really emphasizes its unique cultural flavor in its story, visuals, and execution, it has become not just a celebration of African-American culture but has turned into a representation for all minorities and people of color. Asked if this is something they find important, Mustafa Shakir shares: “It’s hugely important for a number of reasons. I always talk about watching Superman or Bill Bixby in The Hulk back in the day it was so exciting to watch those shows. But I can only imagine what it felt like if I saw someone who looked like me. You know what I mean?” Cheo Coker continues, “I have three kids. I've got 12-year-old twin boys and a six-year-old daughter. When the boys were young, I remember we were in the movie theater, the trailer for Captain America: Winter Soldier came on and it was the first time Anthony Mackie’s character jumps off the side of the building and sprouts his wings, takes off. I just remember the excitement they had in their eyes, and I was just like ‘Man!,’ I wasn’t writing Luke Cage, it wasn’t even an opportunity yet at that time, but it made me think that at some point I’ve got to be able to write something that can bring out that kind of joy of seeing themselves.”

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When asked how they would feel about Luke Cage being adapted into a different culture, Mike Colter adds, “I was growing up watching Bruce Lee, I was doing the moves, I had the nunchucks...I didn’t need a black version of Bruce Lee.” “But Bruce Lee was universal!” Coker and Shakir chime in. “Yeah, exactly! So I would like to think that Luke Cage is universal and you would have to like put a version of me in your society," Colter adds. "That’s the person you would gravitate to.” 

So who knows, a local TV station might just pick up the concept and make a local version of it someday. How crazy would that be!? Luke Cage is currently streaming on Netflix. Catch Cheo Hodari Coker, Bushmaster, and Luke Cage himself this weekend at AsiaPOP Comicon.

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