After a long absence from the MCU, the Chaste are finally set to return in The Defenders. So far, news of the series has shown that just about every Marvel hero from the Netflix corner of the universe will be showing up, but what threat could possibly merit them all? We've known for some time that Sigourney Weaver will be playing Alexandra, a Kingpin-like figure connected to the evil our heroes must face. But with so many martial artists and people with super-strength, surely she won't be alone.
The leading candidates are Madame Gao and the Hand, who have caused trouble on both Daredevil and Iron Fist. Given their plot has been brewing since Daredevil first premiered and their mysterious real estate plans have yet to be revealed, it seems likely that everything will come to a head when The Defenders arrive. So far, a brief teaser for the show and some headlines from a viral site have played up the corporate angle of the villains the Defenders will face. Connecting the dots, it's not hard to imagine the Hand will emerge as the true threat. Now, one more clue has been added.
Man Without Fear (via MCU Exchange) have discovered an interview with Chilean actor Marko Zaror (Machete Kills) stating he'll be portraying Shaft of the Chaste on The Defenders. Created by Frank Miller during his early-80s run on Daredevil, Shaft is an archer who fights alongside Matt Murdock's mentor Stick in the ninja clan.
We've already met both Stone and Star briefly on Daredevil, so the arrival of more members of the Chaste has always seemed likely. In the comics, they're also the sworn enemies of the Hand. With Elektra possibly being set up as a second villain for The Defenders, it's even more likely that the Hand will play a role and the Chaste will be called in to help the Defenders take them down.
It's possible that Shaft's appearance will be small, like the brief glimpse of Stone we got during season one of Daredevil, and the quick death Star received by a young Elektra in season two. Then again, every new hint we get about The Defenders seems to point towards a large and mystical threat that the heroes will have to face off against. Another possibility is that the Chaste are also working against the Defenders. Matt and Stick have always had a contentious relationship, so perhaps the protector's of New York will be forced to fight a war on two fronts. With a proper trailer for The Defenders likely on the horizon, we should know more soon.
The Defenders arrives on August 18th, with The Punisher coming later this year. Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1, Luke Cage season 1, and Iron Fist season 1 are now available on Netflix. Premiere dates for the next seasons of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage have not yet been revealed.