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Casting: Luke Cage's Mike Colter joins Evil; Mr. Mercedes fills out; Dune adds Dastmalchian

By Don Kaye
Mike Colter as Luke Cage

Looks like Luke Cage star Mike Colter won't be out of work for too long following the abrupt cancellation of his Marvel/Netflix series. The actor has joined the cast of Evil, the new CBS occult/religious drama that's preparing to shoot a pilot.

According to Deadline, Colter will play David Dacosta, a man training to be a priest, as he joins psychologist Kristen Benoist (Westworld's Katja Herbers) in investigating demonic possessions, alleged miracles, and other seemingly supernatural occurrences. They're accompanied by a yet-to-be-cast "blue-collar contractor" as they try to determine whether the incidents can be scientifically explained or are truly otherworldly in nature.

Evil is created by Robert and Michelle King, for whom Colter worked on their previous show The Good Wife, playing a drug lord. Colter just finished a two-season run as Luke Cage before Netflix pulled the plug on all its Marvel series, although the character could possibly return on Disney+ or Hulu.

The Audience network's Mr. Mercedes is already shooting its third season in Charleston, South Carolina, and has been filling out its cast. Gabriel Ebert from Ricki and the Flash is joining the ensemble as a regular character, along with Rarmian Newton of NOS4A2.

Deadline reports that Ebert will star as Morris Bellamy, a "volatile and charismatic wolf in sheep’s clothing," while Newton will play high school student Peter Saubers, whose "life was derailed when his father was disabled during the Mr. Mercedes massacre." Glynn Turman is also recurring as Judge Bernard Raines.

Fans of the Stephen King books on which the series is based — the Bill Hodges trilogy — will recognize Bellamy and Saubers from the second book, Finders Keepers. That novel connects only indirectly to the original Mr. Mercedes, while the third book, End of Watch, is a more direct follow-up and formed the basis of Season 2.

David E. Kelley is returning as executive producer, while Jack Bender is also coming back as executive producer and director on the show, which stars Brendon Gleeson as private detective and retired cop Bill Hodges.

David Dastmalchian

David Dastmalchian, who's something of a genre staple with small but memorable roles in The Dark Knight, both Ant-Man movies, Blade Runner 2049, and Bird Box (as well as a turn as Abra Kadabra on The Flash), just got himself hitched to the continually expanding chest of wonders known as the cast of director Denis Villeneuve's Dune.

Dastmalchian will play Piter De Vries, according to Deadline, a human known as a Mentat whose cerebral functions rival those of a computer. De Vries (portrayed quite creepily by Brad Dourif in the 1984 film version) is a sadist and the primary architect of the plan to destroy the Atreides family and give the evil Baron Harkonnen control of the planet Arrakis.

Villeneuve (Arrival) is about to roll cameras on the epic adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi landmark, with a cast that also includes (deep breath) Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Timothée Chalamet, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, and Zendaya. Dune hits theaters Nov. 20, 2020.