J. August Richards Isn’t Playing Luke Cage In ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Executive producer Jeffrey Bell shoots down a popular theory about which character Richards is playing in the pilot.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

On Monday, ABC released an extended trailer for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” which revealed that guest star J. August Richards is apparently playing a superhero in the pilot episode.

Early speculation had Richards appearing as Luke Cage, a popular Marvel superhero whose film rights were recently confirmed to have reverted to Marvel Studios. However, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” executive producer, Jeffrey Bell definitively denied that Richards will portray Cage during a new interview with IGN.

“[Richards is] so good. He’s so good, because we were looking for this character,” said Bell. “ It’s not the one people are talking about.”

Bell added that “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…!’”

The second most popular theory among Marvel fans is that Richards will play Elvin Haliday aka Rage, who is also a former member of the Avengers in the comics. But Bell’s comments also seemed to indicate that Richards’ character may be someone who hasn’t appeared before.

“We’re going to draw from [from the comics], but Marvel has its thing, and we’re also going to be expanding forward, and this world is different since The Avengers,” noted Bell. “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.” will premiere this Fall on ABC.