Marvel.com has announced that "House of Cards" actor Mahershala Ali has joined the rapidly expanding cast of Netflix's "Luke Cage" series. Ali will portray Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, described in the announcement as "a Harlem nightclub owner" who will "become an unexpected foe in Luke's life when Stokes' criminal activities threaten Luke's world."
The character is based on Cornell Cottonmouth (the Stokes surname seems to be an addition for the series), a crime boss that debuted in 1974's "Power Man" #19. Cottonmouth made a few appearances in Cage's '70s ongoing series, most notably as a heroin-dealing crime boss whose attempt to recruit Cage into his organization ended with a brawl. The character was more recently seen in the "Shadowland: Power Man" limited series from 2010.
Ali is no stranger to Netflix original series, as he has portrayed the intimidating-yet-conflicted lobbyist Remy Danton on all three seasons of the acclaimed series "House of Cards." Ali also has a pedigree when it comes to genre entertainment; he portrays Boggs in the "Hunger Games" film franchise, had a lead role on "The 4400" TV series and a recurring role on the Syfy series "Alphas."
"Luke Cage" has seen it's cast grow considerably over the past few weeks. In addition to Mike Colter, who will portray lead character Luke Cage, the series will also star Alfre Woodard as a powerful politician, Theo Rossi as the criminal Shades and Simone Missick as Misty Knight. Additionally, Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as Claire Temple on the series, a character she previously played on "Daredevil" and will play on fellow Netflix series "Jessica Jones" later this year. Colter will also debut as Luke Cage on "Jessica Jones."
Marvel's Luke Cage will premiere in 2016.