The extended trailer for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that debuted yesterday featured our first look at J. August Richards, who signed on for a mysterious role in the pilot last month. Fans have been speculating that the actor is playing Luke Cage, although executive producer Jeffrey Bell cryptically shot down those rumors in a recent interview.
"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. 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...!'"
When asked if the character would be someone Marvel comic book fans may recognize, the executive producer gave another coy response.
"You know, not necessarily. I mean, 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. 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."
J. August Richards is only appearing as a guest star in the pilot, and it has not been confirmed how often he will be popping up once the series debuts on ABC this fall.