The Defenders (miniseries)

The Defenders
Based on The Defenders
by Roy Thomas
Ross Andru
Developed by
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) New York City
Production company(s)
Distributor Netflix
Original network Netflix
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD)
Preceded by Marvel's Iron Fist
Related shows Marvel Cinematic Universe television series

Marvel's The Defenders, or simply The Defenders, is an upcoming American web television miniseries developed for Netflix by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise and is the culmination of a series of interconnected shows from Marvel and Netflix. The miniseries is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Petrie and Ramirez serving as showrunners.

The limited series stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, all reprising their roles from their individual series. Élodie Yung also stars as Elektra Natchios, reprising the role from Marvel's Daredevil. Development of the miniseries began in late 2013, with Cox the first actor cast in May 2014, and Jones the final of the title four cast in February 2016. Petrie and Ramirez joined as showrunners in April, after serving in the same role on the second season of Daredevil, and filming began in New York City that October.

The Defenders will consist of eight episodes, and is scheduled to be released in 2017.


The superheroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team-up in New York City.[1]

Cast and characters


A blind lawyer who becomes the hero Daredevil.[2][3] Cox stated that the second season of Daredevil, which sees Murdock fight alongside Elektra and the Punisher, prepared Murdock for the Defenders, saying, "Something that’s very tricky for Matt is to allow anyone to help him. He finds it impossible to ask for help. One of the lessons that he’s [starting] to learn... is that he needs other people, he needs help".[4]
A private investigator suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who has her agency Alias Investigations.[5][3] Ritter felt it would be interesting to see what forces Jones to team up with the other heroes, since "she doesn't want to be a superhero. She doesn't want anything to do with that."[6]
A former convict at Seagate Prison with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who now fights crime.[7][3] Colter felt that none of the Defenders seemed like they would want to be in a superhero group together, and said that though Cage, specifically, "knows there are other people like him", he "is in his own world".[8]



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1TBAS.J. Clarkson[19]TBA2017 (2017)[20]
2TBAS.J. Clarkson[19]TBA2017 (2017)[20]



In October 2013, Deadline reported that Marvel was preparing four drama series and a miniseries, totaling 60 episodes, to present to video on demand services and cable providers, with Netflix, Amazon, and WGN America expressing interest.[21] A few weeks later, Marvel and Disney announced that Marvel Television and ABC Studios would provide Netflix with live action series centered around Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, leading up to a miniseries based on the Defenders.[22] In January 2015, the official title was revealed to be Marvel's The Defenders.[23] In November 2015, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief Joe Quesada stated there was no trepidation from Marvel in changing the line up of the Defenders from the "classic" original line-up (Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor and Silver Surfer) to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, "because to the world at large, no one knows who the Defenders are. So the idea of taking the concept and name and applying it to [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] feels wholly natural" adding that Marvel has "a wonderful concept" behind why the group would form in the MCU and why they would be called the Defenders.[24]

In April 2016, Marvel announced that Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, the showrunners for the second season of Daredevil, would serve as showrunners and executive producers on The Defenders, with Daredevil creator Drew Goddard also serving as an executive producer on the miniseries.[25] In January 2015, Netflix COO Ted Sarandos had stated that the series was "eligible to go into multiple seasons for sure" and Netflix would look at "how well [they] are addressing both the Marvel fanbase but also the broader fanbase" in terms of determining if additional seasons would be appropriate.[26] However, in July 2016, Marvel Television head and executive producer Jeph Loeb referred to the miniseries as a one-off event rather than a season of an ongoing story. Loeb also confirmed that the miniseries would have eight episodes, and stated that Petrie and Ramirez would consult with Melissa Rosenberg, Cheo Hodari Coker, and Scott Buck—the showrunners of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, respectively—on how "their characters would react" to certain situations.[27] On this collaboration, Petrie said of Rosenberg specifically, that she was "wonderful because she's in this position of being a fellow artist and letting us do what we do, but at the same time loving her character and being protective of her character and wanting us to get it right and wanting to guide us and help up, but also let us be free." Rosenberg added that all of the showrunners for the other series "felt really included in the process."[28] Loeb compared this relationship to Joss Whedon's approach with the similar crossover in the MCU films, Marvel's The Avengers, for which Whedon "sought out all of the creative input from everybody that had worked on Iron Man and Hulk and Captain America and Thor, but he had to make The Avengers its own thing."[27]


By late May 2016, Petrie and Ramirez had turned in a completed story for the miniseries, which Loeb described as "epic" feeling that all the characters "have great roles....where everyone feels like they’re telling more of their own ongoing tale."[29] Loeb cautioned against the "easy comparison" to The Avengers, saying, "We can take a look at The Avengers and say, 'OK, how do we do that and how do we do it different?' We saw how the Avengers came together. That was some of the best of times and some of the worst of times for them...Often times, when heroes get together, it doesn’t quite go as smoothly as you’d like it to go."[30] Loeb added, "It's not about who's the bad guy or what's at stake or any of those things. We're still working in a really grounded world. The sky's not going to open up and aliens aren't going to come flying out of it. That's the Avengers' job, that's what they're supposed to do. The street level heroes always come from a very real place."[8] Regarding the antagonist, Ramirez said, "It's never an option for us in these shows to do the Defenders in space," calling it a street level New York story. He continued, "The challenge here is we've got four really powerful people teaming together and so we need to come up with something that's worthy of their fists and fury... It's really hard, though. They're so powerful when all four of them are together. You're like, who is a challenge?"[31]

On how the miniseries would build off of the previously released series, Loeb said, "this is kind of the Olympics, where you get to know all of these athletes in their various sports all throughout their careers, and then once every four years they're going to get together and compete against each other."[27] Coker compared the series to the forming of the Wu-Tang Clan and Voltron, saying "you have these individual series that are establishing the personalities and characters... [and then t]hey all come together in a different way that's like, dynamic and very exciting."[8] Petrie noted that the intent was not to stop any of the character arcs built in the previous series, rather each character is "just taking this incredible epic detour then going back into their own respective pools."[28] Goddard talked about the resulting genre for the miniseries, since each of the individual series were different from one another, saying "What’s really fun about [the development] is taking all four different genres and putting them together sort of inherently creates its own genre."[32] Ramierez added about the series' tone, calling it "one of the most challenging and most exciting parts of this project" saying "The tone has really just been about organically blending [the tones of the previous series] together so that it feels like they're all cohesive and all of a piece."[31]


At the end of May 2014, Charlie Cox was cast as Daredevil for Marvel's Daredevil.[2] In December 2014, Krysten Ritter was cast as Jessica Jones[5] and Mike Colter was cast as Luke Cage[7] for Marvel's Jessica Jones, with Colter also headlining Marvel's Luke Cage. In February 2016, Finn Jones was reported to be cast as Danny Rand for Marvel's Iron Fist,[9] with Marvel confirming his casting the following month. They also confirmed that Cox, Ritter, Colter, and Jones would all reprise their roles to star in The Defenders.[3][25] In March 2016, Élodie Yung, who portrays Elektra Natchios in Daredevil, expressed interest in appearing in The Defenders "on the bad side... that would be a good dynamic I think—to be confronted by these four superheroes";[33] Marvel confirmed Yung's involvement the following November.[10]

In April 2016, Eka Darville said that he would reprise his Jessica Jones role of Malcolm Ducasse in The Defenders.[13] In September, Simone Missick stated that she would be reprising the role of Misty Knight from Luke Cage in the miniseries.[14] In October, at New York Comic-Con, Sigourney Weaver was announced as playing the main antagonist of the miniseries.[11] After production on the miniseries began at the end of that month, Marvel confirmed that Darville and Missick would appear,[16][15] alongside Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page,[15] Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth,[16] Scott Glenn as Stick, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple,[17] and Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing,[18] all also reprising their roles from previous Marvel Netflix series.


Marvel announced in February 2014 that the series would be filmed in New York City,[34] with Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief Joe Quesada stating in April that the show would be filming in areas of Brooklyn and Long Island City that still look like the old Hell’s Kitchen, in addition to sound stage work.[35] In April 2016, Cox confirmed a late 2016 start for filming,[36] following the conclusion of production on Iron Fist in October 2016.[37][38][11] The Defenders began filming on October 31, 2016,[39][40] under the working title Group Therapy.[41] Ritter revealed that the series would be filming back-to-back with the second season of Jessica Jones, adding there was the potential to overlap the two productions.[42]

Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins

The Defenders is the final miniseries of the ordered Netflix series, after Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.[37][38] In August 2014, Vincent D'Onofrio, Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, stated that after the "series stuff with Netflix", Marvel has "a bigger plan to branch out".[43] In March 2015, Loeb spoke on the ability for the series to crossover with the MCU films and the ABC television series, saying, "It all exists in the same universe. As it is now, in the same way that our films started out as self-contained and then by the time we got to The Avengers, it became more practical for Captain America to do a little crossover into Thor 2 and for Bruce Banner to appear at the end of Iron Man 3. We have to earn that. The audience needs to understand who all of these characters are and what the world is before you then start co-mingling in terms of where it's going."[44]


The Defenders is scheduled to be released in 2017 on the streaming service Netflix, worldwide,[20] in Ultra HD 4K.[45] The 8 hour-long episodes will be released simultaneously, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, a format which has been successful for other Netflix series.[34][35][27] In January 2015, Netflix COO Ted Sarandos said Netflix planned to release a Marvel series approximately a year apart from each other after Daredevil's April 2015 release.[46]


At San Diego Comic-Con International 2016, a teaser trailer was shown featuring the word "Defend" forming from pieces of the logos from the four previous series over "the ominous shape of a giant hand", along with Glenn providing a voice over as Stick, asking how the four heroes plan to save New York, when they cannot save themselves.[20] For New York Comic-Con later that year, the four Defenders' actors appeared together on stage, along with Weaver, to promote the miniseries.[11]


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External links

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