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Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

'Luke Cage' Season 2 First Look: Misty Knight Returns With A Bionic Arm

Source: Netflix

Danielle A. Scruggs has completed the second season of Marvel and Netflix’s superhero saga, Luke Cage, and details the female voices behind the scenes.

Call it the Ava Effect.

Two years after the groundbreaking filmmaker Ava DuVernay hired an all-women roster of directors for the critically acclaimed OWN drama ​Queen​ Sugar, several TV shows have now been regularly hiring women, including Marvel’s ​Luk​e Cage, whose second season debuts June 22.

READ: Rakim, KRS-One, Faith Evans & More To Perform At Harlem’s Paradise For ‘Luke Cage’ Season Two

Six out of 13 episodes of season two are directed by women after season one feat​ured ​zero women in the director’s chair. Other shows have followed in DuVernay’s footsteps, including ​Jess​ica Jones, which boasted an all-women directing roster for its second season. TV studios are recognizing the importance of expanding the pool of talent when it comes to bringing all kinds of stories to life and I couldn’t be happier.

Let’s take a look at the full roster for season two of​ ​Luke Cage, which includes a diverse array of talent who come from the worlds of TV and film.


Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu, who directed Luke Cage’s second season premiere, has starred in several iconic roles throughout her 27-year career, including O-ren Ishii, the deadly Chinese-Japanese assassin who dueled with Uma Thurman’s Th​e Bride in ​Kill Bill, Alex Munday in McG’s over-the-top reimagining of ​Charlie’s Angels, Ling Woo on ​Ally McBeal, and now as Wat​son on ​Elementary, the latest take on the mythology of Sherlock Holmes. Liu first directoria​l effort was ​Meena, which she co-directed with Collin K. Ray in 2012. She has also directed several epis​odes of ​Elementary since its debut in 2014.

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: IMDB

Steph Green

Steph Green is an Oscar-nominated directo​r for the film ​New Boy (2007), a short film that captures the experience of being the new kid in school, through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy named Joseph. Green’s previous TV credits include ​Preacher, The Americans, Scandal and​ ​The Man in High Castle.

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: IMDB

Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Salli Richardson-Whitfield (who is married to actor Dondre Whitfield) is an actress and director who has moved seamlessly between these two roles for more than 20 years. Her acting credits ​include the film Posse (Mario Van Peebles’ highly underrated ​take on Westerns​,​ I Am Legend, ​Black Dynamite, voicework on the classic animated show ​Gargoyle​s, ​Newsroom, Being Mary Jane, and ​I Will Follow, the feature film directorial debut of Ava DuVernay. Richardson-Whitfield’s directing resume is just as remarkable; credits include ​Queen Sugar, Scandal, Underground, De​ar White People, Black Lightning, and ​Love Is.

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: IMDB

Kasi Lemmons

​Eve’s Bayou, Kasi Lemmons’ 1997 award-winning and critically acclaimed directorial debut, is an absorbing Southern Gothic tale whose visual impact can be seen in Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, ​Lemonade (along with Julie Dash’s 1991 classic Daughters of the​ Dust.) Lemmons has also directed ​Talk To Me, a hilarious biopic starring Don Cheadle and Taraji P. Henson about DC radio legend Petey Greene, ​The Caveman’s Valenti​ne, ​Black Nativity, and an episode of ​Shots Fired, the critically acclaimed limited series created by Gina Prince-Bythewood. And much like Richardson-Whitfield, Lemmons was also an actress before setting her sights on directing, having starred​ in ​The Five​ Heartbeats, ​The Silence of the Lambs, ​Candyman, and the cult comedy F​ear of a Black Hat.

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: IMDB

Millicent Shelton

Millicent Shelton has more than 70 directing credits under her belt. Her career started as a wardrobe produ​ction assistant on Spike Lee’s film ​Do The Right Thing. Since then, she has directed a movie (the 1998 comedy Ride) and episodes for several modern classic TV shows, including ​Everybody Hates Chris, 30 Rock, Scandal, Blac​k-ish and the highly anticipated third season of ​Insecure. No word though if she’s Team Issa or part of #LawrenceHive.

Breaking Down The Women Directors of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

Source: IMDB

Neema Barnette​

Neema Barnette has been working in film and TV for more than 30 years. Her earliest credits include What’s Happening Now and A Different World. She also directed the 2002 film ​Civil Brand, an underrated film starring N’Bushe Wright about the harsh conditions a group of black women faced in prison, tackling the prison industrial complex long before ​Orange is the New Black popped up in our Netflix queues. Barnette is also on the all-women directors roster for ​Queen Sugar and will also be a director for OWN’s latest drama ​Love Is…, based on Mara Brock Akil’s early career and love story with husband and creative partner Samil Akil.

Marvel and Netflix’s Luke Cage will makes it return to the streaming service this Friday, June 22.

Danielle A. Scruggs is a photo editor, photographer, and writer from Chicago, IL and currently based in Washington, D.C. She is also the founder of Black Women Directors, an online platform dedicated to celebrating the work of women and nonbinary filmmakers of African descent.



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