Warning: Major SPOILERS ahead for The Defenders
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist would all be fine if they never get the band back together following The Defenders according to its showrunner. Netflix and Marvel TV have successfully pulled off the television equivalent to what Marvel Studios did in 2012 with The Avengers. Netflix's Phase 1 was all leading to an eventual team up between the four heroes of New York City's streets, and they somehow managed to come away the victors. Despite having an army against them, the four strangers quickly formed a relationship to save their city.
After going through such an experience, it would be easy to understand why they would want to stick together. They've proven they're stronger and more formidable together than apart, even if sacrifices were made along the way. Well, the showrunner of the series doesn't believe this event has formed a close, lifelong partnership between all of them.
Related: Marvel’s The Defenders Review
EW spoke to showrunner Marco Ramirez about The Defenders and asked him specifically where these individuals stand with one another. Are they a certified team all of a sudden or will they go back to being strangers? Ramirez tends to believe it is somewhere in the middle, but definitely not close enough to want to do it again.
I think of them mostly as like people who were on the same bus when it got in an accident, and then they all filled out paperwork together, and they all went to the hospital together, and now they’re going home. And it’s kind of like, “This was a great adventure to have with you, I’d be okay with seeing you again, I’d also be okay with never seeing you again.” It’s more like a bond that happens in a crisis. People are intimate now, but it’s not like you’ll be inviting them over for dinner every Tuesday. [Laughs] We designed it so they could go back to their individual worlds, but it’s not like they’re apart permanently in any way.
This is a rather smart way to end the series truthfully. While fans of these characters would undoubtedly love to see all four of them together all the time, this allows them to continue their own stories separately. If they were a full-time team, they would need much larger threats to face than corporate fraud or Kingpin (should he ever return), but they now can each take on smaller challenges individually that still are formidable in their own rights.
However, this answer and the way the show ends absolutely leaves room for further crossover. Maybe a second season of Defenders isn't in the cards, but we could see a more balanced rotation of characters going from show to show. Rosario Dawson started this already, but we'll also see Deborah Ann Woll take Karen Page to The Punisher later this year, while Jessica gave a very open invitation to Luke to "get coffee" later on. With Simone Missick also hopping from Luke Cage to Iron Fist, these shows' casts could become even more interchangeable. Plus, with Netflix filming multiple shows at once now, it would be easier on scheduling for Jessica to appear in Luke Cage for a short arc.
All this is to say, they may not be best friends right away, but they'll certainly have some interactions in the future. Not to mention, should Defenders prove to be a ratings monster, Netflix will do everything in its power to get a second season. So whether it is small, individual crossovers or another full on team-up, fans should expect something else in future seasons.
The Defenders is now available on Netflix, with The Punisher arriving sometime this fall. Premiere dates for the new seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have not yet been announced.