9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Luke Cage' Showrunner Inks Amazon Overall Deal
Netflix's loss is Amazon's gain.
Two months after Netflix surprisingly canceled the Marvel drama Luke Cage, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker has signed an overall deal with rival streamer Amazon.
Under the pact, Coker will develop and produce new TV projects for the retail giant and streamer under his Fighting 99th Entertainment banner. Amazon will distribute the content globally in more than 200 countries and territories.
"We're very excited to welcome Cheo to the Amazon Studios family," Vernon Sanders, co-head of TV at Amazon, said Thursday in a statement. "From Notorious to Luke Cage, Cheo is a provocative, revolutionary storyteller, and we're happy he'll be creating those kinds of bold new series exclusively for Prime Video."
Coker created and served as showrunner on both seasons of the Marvel drama Luke Cage, which Netflix canceled in October after it and the comic book powerhouse could not agree on a creative direction for a third season. The two companies continue to have a strained relationship, as Luke Cage was the third of Marvel's five series with the streamer to be canceled as parent company Disney plots its Netflix rival Disney+. Of the three canceled Marvel Netflix shows, Luke Cage was the only one to not have a showrunner change (Daredevil, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones — which remains in contention — each changed showrunners).
Coker, who started his career as a music journalist, co-wrote the 2009 feature Notorious, about the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., and segued into television writing for the crime drama Southland. His credits include NCIS: Los Angeles, Almost Human and Ray Donovan for TV, as well as the features Lowriders, Creed II and Straight Outta Compton.
"Amazon is the future, and their bespoke, specific approach to building groundbreaking shows offers an amazing opportunity, one that I'm incredibly thankful for," said Coker. "I can't think of a better place to launch the first shows developed under my Seattle-based Fighting 99th Entertainment banner and am excited for people to see what we have in store."
Coker joins a growing roster of writers, producers and directors with overall deals at Amazon, including Jordan Peele, Nicole Kidman, Reed Morano (The Handmaid's Tale), Neil Gaiman, Sharon Horgan, Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones), Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Jill Soloway (Transparent).
Coker is repped by CAA, Literate Management and Fox Rothschild.