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Alfre Woodard joins the cast of Netflix's 'Luke Cage'

By Karen Butler
Alfre Woodard joins the cast of Netflix's 'Luke Cage'
Cast member Alfre Woodard attends the premiere of the horror film "Annabelle" in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2014. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Renowned actress Alfre Woodard has joined the cast of the upcoming Netflix drama Marvel's Luke Cage, opposite Mike Colter as the series' superpowered title character.

Woodard will play Mariah Dillard, "a local Harlem politician -- and cousin to recently announced Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes, played by Mahershala Ali -- who is looking to bring a new era of change to the streets she grew up on," a news release said. "Her personal life and professional career are thrown into turmoil by both Harlem's newest hero Luke Cage, as well as her cousin Cottonmouth's nefarious acts."

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"Alfre has an incredible, unique, and intimidating presence on screen that makes her perfect as a leader of the Harlem community," Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb said in a statement. "We couldn't be more excited that an actress as celebrated and talented as Alfre has decided to join us on this adventure."

The series is to premiere in 2016. Cheo Hodari Coker will write the first two episodes in addition to serving as showrunner and executive producer.

Woodard, 62, is known for her work in the TV shows Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, L.A. Law, Desperate Housewives and The Practice, as well as in the films Primal Fear, The Forgotten, The Family That Preys, 12 Years a Slave and Annabelle.

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Luke Cage is one of the four Marvel dramas in the Netflix franchise. Also set to air soon are Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, as well as Season 2 of Daredevil.

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