Despite being the connecting factor among Marvel’s Netflix TV shows (at least, through The Defenders), Rosario Dawson is stating that she may not be returning to that world. Dawson has played Claire Temple, a.k.a. The Night Nurse throughout most of the Netflix’s Marvel universe — Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist, though notably not The Punisher — but her time in that role may be at its end. At least, according to the actresses’ statements during a panel at the 2018 Tribeca TV fest this past Saturday, as Indiewire reports.
It’s not the first time Dawson has mentioned her appearance in Luke Cage Season 2 as being her last (she did not appear in the most recent season of Iron Fist, despite being a major part of its first outing). Back in May, ComicBook.com wrote that during a panel at MCM Comic Con in London, Dawson said:
“Yeah, its pretty wild actually. I don’t know if I’ll be back after this, to be honest, but it’s been an amazing few years. I’ve been on a lot of different shows. I mean, I don’t know if maybe they do a third season of Luke Cage potentially, or maybe if they figure out some kind of way for me to be on The Punisher – just so I can feel like I’ve done every show. But it’s been like, my daughter is high school, so I kinda wanna’ not be 3000 miles away for work.”
Marvel has not, unsurprisingly, confirmed this one way or another, but Dawson knowing that Luke Cage Season 2 was the end of the road could be what led her to be so proactive in filming her final scene — one of the show’s most powerful. In Episode 3, “Wig Out,” Dawson said at the Tribecca panel that: “I felt really grateful, because Cheo Hodari Coker was the showrunner, and it was kind of looking like, at least for that season, who knows if I’ll come back again? This was looking like it was going to be a big final scene for Claire, and it was really as a culmination of three years and being on five different shows.”
Dawson went on to explain how the scene was originally more from Luke’s point of view, and that she pushed for it to become more balanced. It did, and ended up being a really raw, emotional, and intense exploration of why Luke and Claire would never really work as a couple, as well as exposing some of Luke’s demons (ones that would rise to the forefront later in the season). Coker was so impressed that to compliment her, he invited Dawson to join the writers’ room. She explained that her contributions from the scene came from,
“… the instinct of knowing that after five different shows this was probably going to be at least for now a kind of goodbye for Claire. I wanted it to really honor this journey I’ve had with her, and what she’s been and what she’s stood for, and what she means to a lot of people.” After all, the Marvel universe is focused around characters, but Claire, “means a lot, because you don’t have to have special superpowers to make a difference and an impact in your community and to challenge yourself to grow and to be greater,” Dawson said. “She just really inspired me a lot.”