After four separate shows (and two seasons in the case of Daredevil), the four Marvel heroes on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) will finally be joining forces against a common enemy. Entertainment Weekly covered this team-up event series, the Defenders, in their latest issue.
Firstly, how do they all come together int he first place? While they each live in New York, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have crossed paths earlier in her stand alone show and all of them have connections to Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple it still remained unclear how they would unite. They have their separate villains to fight and neither are particularly keen on asking for help. Here’s the set up for the initial meeting of the four heroes:
Each Defender has arrived separately at the offices of Midland Circle (a name that should sound familiar to Daredevil fans as the shady operation behind a giant, literal plot hole in season 2), and none of them expected to cross paths. But before they can properly meet and greet, the four have wound up trapped in the middle of a corridor and must brawl their way past a group of enemies. (Hey, Marvel loves hallway fight scenes ever since Daredevil pulled one off.) “Every one of them is following their own trail of bread crumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York,” explains showrunner Marco Ramirez, who produced Daredevil‘s first season before co-showrunning the second. “We wanted them all caught off guard. Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, s—, who are you?’”
The following comes from an EW interview with Defenders and Daredevil season 2 showrunner Marco Ramirez. Here’s he sums up what he feels the Defenders mini-series is about and what the similarities are between the characters that makes it work.
“It’s ultimately a story about a family of orphans who are very grown-up but still have more growing up to do,” Ramirez said. “This was something I told the writers: It’s taking the questions that were posed in the finales of each of their shows. So the last times we saw them, where are they, and what are they going to need to do in order to grow up? What do they, as they come out of their own seasons, need?… We never wanted anyone to feel like they’re a guest on anyone else’s show. It’s weirdly about all four of them. It’s about all of their collective stories finally folding in on each other.”
“One of the good things about how the other shows all operate is they’re all about a central protagonist, and at the end of the day, they’re not about superpowers. They’re all about someone who has some major flaw and some major crisis and also heroically somehow overcomes it. One of the things early on that I found helpful was not to think about how many differences they have but to go the opposite way and think about how much they have in common.
“And aside from the fact that they are all Marvel characters, there’s a recurring theme here with people who are orphans or people who don’t understand this urge but feel the need to do good and are constantly fighting inner turmoil and having that affect their personal lives. There’s a certain amount of maturity with how they deal with the superhero-ness of it all… We didn’t think about it in terms of how we’ll combine all the tones. We thought about the tone as its own thing. It’s about making sure this thing is something that could encapsulate all four worlds.”
In the article he also went into the various dynamics between the characters. Luke Cage and Danny Rand have a long history fighting alongside each other in the comics, Luke and Jessica Jones are married with a child in the comics, and Daredevil has regularly crossed their paths. Apart from seeing the characters all fight a common foe together, it was also interesting to see their interactions.
“When it came down to it, there was just no way we would get away with telling this story and not have Danny Rand and Luke Cage have some chemistry, just because of what’s been established in the comics for them in Heroes for Hire. Danny and Matt’s relationship is really exciting to me. The Luke and Jessica and Danny dynamic is exciting. And that may be one of the most fun parts of the show to some people. Everyone needs a relationship with everyone else here…We look up at a bunch of boards in the writers’ room, at the full season, and say, ‘Oh wait, we haven’t seen an interaction between these two,’ or, ‘These three haven’t been together yet.’ So what does that mean? Where does that lead? It was almost like a checklist, like, ‘Where’s our great Luke and Jessica scene? Where’s our Danny and Matt scene?”
In addition to the distinct tones of each series, the way each character fought was unique. It’s nice to hear that this will carry over to the Defenders as well.
“Everyone has their own instrument. We have to work our way for Matt to do some cool parkour-y stuff, Danny to use his fist in some awesome way, Luke to use his strength and invulnerability in some cool way, and Jessica to just be a badass brawler. Coming at them from an emotional perspective is how we write those fight scenes, so Luke ends up being the protector, and Danny and Matt end up becoming the offense. Jessica is kind of the reluctant punk rock member of the band who doesn’t want to be there, but who’s really awesome. It’s making sure each of the characters can really pop.”
To check out what the issue had to say about Sigourney Weaver’s villain, go to the link here.
Lastly, here are some official images from the issue.
The Defenders airs on Netflix in summer 2017.