Check out what we learned during the Marvel’s The Defenders Comic-Con interviews
Marvel’s The Defenders follows Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Kristyn Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter),and Danny Ran/Iron Fist (Finn Jones), 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. We got a chance to chat with some of the cast at the San Diego Comic-Con, including Cox, Colter, Rand, Elodie Yung (Elektra) Jessica Henwich (Colleen Wing), Sigourney Weaver (Alexandra) and writer Marco Ramirez.
Ramirez told us that Netflix was very open to doing eight episodes as opposed to more like the other series. He also explained what the biggest challenge of the show was. He said, “I think what was really surprising to me and to the writers in the writers room, was planning the specifics about where everyone is emotionally. It’s not like everyone gets in the room and now they’re The Defenders and here they go to the headquarters… it really felt like we had to track emotionally where Luke Cage had been, where Jessica Jones had been, where everyone was coming from… it became a much more emotional grid and map that we had to kind of figure out.”
He also told us about finding a tone for four very different characters and allowing them to mesh. He said, “I think what we knew we didn’t want to make it feel like everyone was visiting Jessica Jones’ world or everyone was visiting Matt Murdoch’s world. We needed to make this a standalone thing, with elements borrowed from each of the other worlds.” He also said it was important to make the characters recognize that this is the next big chapter in their lives on their own before they had them meet.
Yung spoke about where we find Elektra in The Defenders, after being resurrected. She told us, “It was a great idea. I think they were really inspired by the comics. Elektra dies and comes back in a new outfit and she’s changed. It was a really cool and interesting thing for me to have Elektra again, but being completely new character almost, because she doesn’t remember anything. And so exploring kind of a new character was kind of exciting to me… Alexandra takes over this new Elektra and kind of forges her into what she wants her to be if that makes sense.”
Weaver talked about stepping into the Marvel world. “You know, I’d heard of the shows, and I’d heard that they were marvelous with wonderful actors, but I didn’t know them as a New Yorker. There’s so much that it’s hard to keep track. I loved Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I thought they were both wonderful, great acting, wonderful writing. Really, New York is a character in these shows. And I think that continues through Luke Cage and Iron Fist. They approached me about creating a new character. I was excited because, often when they create a new character, an older woman, you know, you’re having to deal with people who — they have an idea that they’re an ice queen or something like that. I just think we all wanted her to be a very believable person in New York, who had a real New York life. Something of a kingdom in New York… unfortunately these four young people who are so idealistic, we don’t have the same priorities. Otherwise I think that she could easily bring them into her organization and mentor them. They’re obviously very talented, but it’s that pesky idealism that they have that complicates things for her.” She said that Alexandra is a business woman and that she’s based on real people she knows.
Jones told us that Danny Rand sees Luke Cage as a mentor. He said, “With that, he can let down his guard, and in letting down his guard, they’re able to have banter and be friendly… For Danny, he hasn’t lived in this world for 15 years. All he’s ever known is to fight. And he’s never actually really considered what it means to be a wealthy person either. And so coming back to New York, he’s very reckless in his behavior. He’s going around and punching things and throwing his cash around. He comes up to someone like Luke Cage, who is the complete opposite, and Luke is like, “Whoah, whoah kid. If we’re going to work together you need to realize a few things. Danny is a pure soul and he takes it on board and says maybe that is the correct way.”
Colter said, “Yeah, the first exchange we had dealt a lot with ways you go about solving problems. When I first meet him, he just happens to have jacked up somebody who I know and care about. So he’s using his abilities because he wants to get to the bottom of something. For me, I’ve dealt with having superior strength for a long time… I’ve known that I’ve had to hold back for a long time because the ramifications; I could kill people. So it’s hard to sort of ride the line of morality… you can’t solve things with violence.”
Cox talked about where we find Matt Murdoch after the events of Daredevil season 2 and the time in between. He told us that he wishes he got to see the conversation between Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and Matt after the end of season 2. He explained what Matt is dealing with now. “The end of Daredevil season 2, everything failed. Matt failed and the consequences were devastating. I think six or so months have passed and he had to completely evaluate everything that he believes and everything that he does. He’s had to hang up the suit, as it were. He’s focusing all of his energies on being a pro bono lawyer. I don’t think he has any interest in being Daredevil anymore. But what we know about Matt is that it’s like a drug to him. I think whenever Matt is not doing that, his life becomes increasingly uncomfortable.”
Cox told us that his relationship with Jessica Jones is adversarial in the beginning. He said that someone like her dealing with someone who “wears a red pants suit” is entertaining, but that he loves the scenes where they come to respect each other. He also said the fact that he’s the only one with a secret identity was definitely an issue for him.
The series follows the releases of Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage and Marvel’s Iron Fist. Marvel’s The Defenders stars Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Danny Rand/Iron Fist). Additional cast members include Academy-Award nominated actress Sigourney Weaver (Alexandra), Elodie Yung (Elektra), Scott Glenn (Stick), Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse), Simone Missick (Misty Knight) and Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing).
Marvel’s The Defenders is executive produced by Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie along with Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.
Marvel’s The Defenders premieres globally on Netflix on August 18, 2017 at 12:01am PT. We want to hear from you! Leave us your comments below or tweet us @ComingSoonnet, and stay tuned for more news from San Diego Comic-Con 2017!