We're less than a week away from The Defenders being released on Netflix, but we've learned how the series will change each hero individually. The team-up show has been in the works for several years, initially starting with the release of Daredevil in 2015. Since then Netflix and Marvel Television have brought Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist to the table.
The team will soon be assembled, and so it's time for them to work together - only it's not going to be so easy with The Hand breathing down their necks.
The Hand have previously been causing problems for both Daredevil and Iron Fist, and are returning as the main villains of The Defenders, being led by Alexandra - played by Sigourney Weaver. There'll be a few problems they'll each have to work through before they save New York, however, and none of them will be the same going forwards.
During an interview with Playboy, showrunner Marco Ramirez, Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Iron Fist) discussed how their characters deal with each other across the series. The group of heroes certainly won't be partnering up straight away, and they'll have plenty of emotional baggage to deal with, as Ramirez discussed the next chapter of their lives:
“None of us wanted to do the procedural version where they’ll go back into their own shows completely unchanged. The events of Defenders will affect each of them. It just really felt like in order to honor the individual character arcs of each of the shows, we needed them to realize this was the next big chapter of their lives, individually.”
Since The Hand have already proven their capacity for extreme violence and staged attacks, what comes next? We've already had a glimpse of Elektra in the trailer, revived by The Hand as the 'Black Sky'. The resurrection of Matt Murdock's ex-lover will undoubtedly cause some trouble for the man without fear. Although he's also going to find himself struggling with Jessica Jones, who doesn't get along with the blind superhero. Per Cox:
“They don’t like each other. They’re too similar. They’re too stubborn. They’re too opinionated. They don’t have time for each other. The stuff that I liked filming the most were those scenes where they start to, against their will, like each other. They kind of respect each other. They would never tell the other person that. That was really fun to play with. That’s one of the things I really enjoyed about it. All of our shows had been quite serious, they’re tonally quite dark. But you can’t put someone like Matt Murdock, who wears a super hero costume in a room with Jessica Jones and not make jokes. You can’t.”
Someone we haven't seen in a proper costume yet is Danny Rand. But it doesn't seem like the latest addition to Netflix will have the easiest personal ride in The Defenders. Finn Jones mentioned Danny's guilty conscience about underestimating The Hand and losing an entire city:
“Danny is responsible for the loss of a whole city. He’s majorly f*cked up. The guilt that is heavy on his heart is really making him spearhead forward with this mission to take down The Hand. Danny’s very reckless in his behavior. He’s just punching things, throwing his cash around. He comes into someone like Luke Cage, who is the complete opposite, and Luke’s just like, ‘Whoa, kid. If we’re going to work together, you need to really realize a few things.’”
Danny clearly still has a lot to learn about being a vigilante and helping people. Some of that vigilante education will come from working with Luke Cage. Cage is the exact opposite of Danny, and their differences will see the pair butt heads (or fists) when they begin working as a whole team. Luke's journey in The Defenders has him trying to readjust after spending time in prison at the end of his solo series. Mike Colter spoke about how Luke's personality will change after that:
“The first four episodes serve to get him out of that world, and out of the mentality of looking over your shoulder, and worrying about your past. I think we will see a new Luke because of it.”
Cage will be a free man once again, and an innocent one at that. So after his liberation, it's possible he might want to toe the line for a while just to ensure he doesn't wind up back in jail. His reluctance to join the team will likely come from wanting to keep his down, until something or someone persuades him otherwise.
As exciting as all these teases are, we'll have to wait till Friday 18 to see how Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist all deal with the threat of The Hand.