Although by this point everyone knows that the Defenders lineup will consist of the four main Marvel Netfilx heroes, another has been announced as joining them as well – actress Elodie Yung, who played Elektra, has already been confirmed to return for the show. Of course, when we last saw her on season 2 of Daredevil, she was very much dead.
But as Marvel Comics fans know, Elektra never seems to stay dead for very long. The latest teaser for the show reminds us the last time we saw her body, she was in the special casket that could resurrect the dead created by the mysterious ninja group The Hand. Well, now we know the how of her return, but we’ll have to wait till August to know the why.
You can watch the latest Defenders teaser from Marvel Television down below:
— The Defenders (@TheDefenders) May 2, 2017
After the incredible success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the folks at Marvel Television decided to take a cue from their big screen brethren and try the same tactic on TV. In October of 2013, Marvel and Disney announced that together with ABC Studios, they would provide Netflix with four live action series centered around their characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, all leading up to a miniseries based on the classic Marvel Comics team, The Defenders. This would reflect the approach that Marvel Studios took to introducing audiences to the Avengers, by giving all the main heroes their own movies first before the big team-up, making that team-up an unprecedented event.
Daredevil season one premiered in April, 2015, with the second season premiering in March, 2016. Jessica Jones season one premiered in November 2016, with Luke Cage following in September 2016. Finally, Iron Fist’s first season premiered in March, 2017, allowing all the main players to be introduced, meaning: The Defenders can finally assemble. Slated to debut as an 8-part mini-series in August 2017, our first glimpse of the Defenders all together came on the cover for Entertainment Weekly in January.
FIRST LOOK at ‘THE DEFENDERS’ on the cover of Entertainment Weekly! RT pic.twitter.com/r3kC2VTv0D
— The Defenders TV (@TheDefenders_TV) January 12, 2017
Then in April of 2017, we got our first teaser, featuring the four Defenders in an elevator, looking pretty pissed off and tired—like they just spent the whole day kicking ass. You can see the new teaser down below:
Since the big announcement, we’ve learned quite a lot about this developing project. Here’s everything we know so far.
Who Are The Defenders?
As it turns out, the comic book Defenders and the television Defenders are the same in name only. This is in pretty stark contrast to the big screen Avengers, who reflect the most popular members of the team from the original comics. The Defenders comic debuted in 1971, and originally consisted of the trio of the Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. They would later be joined by the Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Hellcat, and Nighthawk, as well as several others.
They were meant to be a less public, less formally organized version of the Avengers that would mostly fight mystical threats. The team had a loose membership, with many characters—mostly loner types—coming and going. The series ran for over 150 issues, from 1972-1985, and would return sporadically after that over the next few decades.
The Defenders on the new Netflix series, however, are a totally different line-up from any previous comic book series, consisting of Marvel’s “street level” heroes. This iteration will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, with only Luke Cage having ever been a Defender in the comics. A new comic book series based on the Netflix line-up will be debuting this summer from Marvel (see the cover below). At least the logo is the same!
Interestingly, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Valkyrie will all be together on the big screen (minus Namor) in Thor:Ragnarok, so Marvel fans are almost getting the classic Defenders line-up together in 2017 as well.
Who’s Starring in The Defenders?
All of the leads of the four Marvel Netflix shows take center stage for The Defenders—Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist. Joining the mini-series in a crucial role is Élodie Yung as Elektra Natchios, reprising her Daredevil role.
Also returning from their respective shows are Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, Jessica Jones’ neighbor and assistant at Alias Investigations; Simone Missick as Harlem police detective Misty Knight; Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Matt Murdock’s former assistant; Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Matt Murdock’s BFF and former partner; Carrie-Anne Moss as lawyer Jeri Hogarth; Scott Glenn as Stick, Daredevil’s mentor; Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Jessica Jones’ best friend who hosts her own radio talk show (in the comics, Trish Walker is the Defender known as Hellcat); Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, a former nurse who has appeared on all four Netflix Marvel shows; and finally Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, a kickass fighter and Danny Rand’s love interest.
Who Will The Main Villain Be?
If just having all these characters together wasn’t cool enough, the main villain for the series will be none other than screen legend Sigourney Weaver. Her character is being called “Alexandra,” but we don’t know if that’s her real name, an alias, or if she’s even playing a character from the comics at all. Rumors suggest she is somehow related to the ninja cabal from Daredevil season 2 known as The Hand.
Showrunner Marco Ramirez described her as “a very powerful force in New York City. She’s everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous.” Ramirez also said that her character had to be, “something massive to pull these four [hero] characters from their individual worlds to work together, but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.”
Who Are The Creatives Behind The Show?
The Defenders was developed for Netflix by producers Douglas Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Marco Ramirez (Daredevil), both of whom worked on the second season of Daredevil, which saw the introduction of the Punisher and Elektra into the Marvel/Netflix mythos. The miniseries is produced by Jeph Loeb of Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Ramirez serving as showrunner.
What’s The Show Going To Be About?
The story of the miniseries was based on a “very bare-bones structure” from comics writer and Marvel Television exec Jeph Loeb. The intention is for the miniseries to feel like it’s “Daredevil season 2.5, a Luke Cage season 1.5, a Jessica Jones 1.5, and Iron Fist 1.5,” telling “the story that came after their immediate seasons and before their next ones” according to Loeb. The four leads will come together to fight Sigourney Weaver’s baddie.
How Many Episodes Will There Be?
There will be eight episodes of the show, which makes this a miniseries as opposed to the standard 13 episode order for most of the Marvel Netflix shows. And though technically a one-off, depending on the show’s reception, all parties have been very open to the possibility of making more episodes down the line. Although probably after a third Daredevil season, and second seasons for Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
When Will The Defenders Premiere?
The show will drop on August 18, 2017, so mark your calendars for what is sure to be a huge binge-watching weekend.
Are you as excited for The Defenders as we are? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Netflix / Marvel Television / Marvel Comics / Twentieth Century Fox