When The Defenders was first announced in late 2013, it seemed like such an ambitious undertaking. Marvel would bring some of its lesser-known superheroes—Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist—to Netflix. Marvel would develop them separately, as they did for their big screen Avengers, and then bring them together culminating in a mini-series consisting of eight episodes.
The gamble paid off, and now your favorite Netflix heroes are finally coming together this summer to defend against a threat they’ve never faced before.
The Defenders cast
The Defenders will have a cast to rival most Netflix shows. Charlie Cox will return as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, as will Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Iron Fist.You can also expect to see supporting characters from each respective show pop up as well. Elden Hensen has already been confirmed to reprise his role as Foggy Nelson from Daredevil. The official Defenders Twitter account updates the cast almost daily. Daredevil’s Elodie Yung will reprise her role as Elektra, as will Rosario Dawson reprise her role as Claire Temple. Dawson has appeared in every Netflix Marvel show so far, so her appearance in The Defenders shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page (Daredevil), Simone Missick’s Misty Knight (Luke Cage) and Scott Glenn’s Stick (Daredevil) will all make appearances on the show as well. One character who won’t be making an appearance? Vincent D'Onofrio's villainous Wilson Fisk.
Don’t worry, though. The Defenders will have their hands full dealing with Sigourney Weaver, who will play a mysterious villain whose identity has yet to be revealed.
The Defenders plot
Netflix released this brief plot synopsis back in January:
Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal - to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
It’s not much, but more plot information should trickle down once Iron Fist hits in March.
The Defenders spoilers
It’s being speculated Matt Murdock will act as the Nick Fury of the group, recruiting members now that he’s willing to work as a team. Charlie Cox had this to say about Daredevil stepping more into the leader role: “He can’t do this alone. He’s been so adamant about being a lone wolf, about doing it himself, so I think that in order for him to get to The Defenders we needed this second season. We needed to see him be broken individually so that he can - he’s willing to form a team.”
If Matt Murdock was a broken man at the end of season 2 of Daredevil, Jessica Jones is completely shattered. At the end of season 1 of Jessica Jones, Jessica had murdered the villainous Kilgrave after a long, exhausting battle and seemed done being a superhero. In that sense, Jessica will probably be the hardest to recruit.
As for the others, Luke Cage was sent back to prison at the end of season 1 of his show. You can bet he’ll either get released or break out when we find him in The Defenders. As Mike Colter says, “It’s safe to say Cage is not going to spend the entire season of The Defenders behind bars.” Colter also says to expect Cage to be the voice of reason in the group. “I’m the guy, the wisdom”, Colter explains. “If you want to make sure something works, run it up the flagpole.”
Less is known about Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist. Since his show doesn’t premiere for another month, it’s hard to predict what kind of role he’ll have. If anything, his mystic powers will most definitely be a tremendous asset to the other Defenders, who have more physical skills. You can also bet Rand will hit it off with Luke Cage, given their longstanding partnership and friendship in the comics.
The Defenders trailer
Netflix released the first teaser trailer for The Defenders back in July for San Diego Comic-Con. It doesn’t reveal much, but Stick’s narration implies this ragtag group of superheroes won’t have an easy time dealing with each other’s unique personalities.
The Defenders release date
An exact release date for The Defenders hasn’t been announced, but a summer debut seems likely. As Iron Fist starts streaming next month, you can bet Marvel’s other supergroup will start defending sooner rather than later.