Marvel Studios has made a name for itself by taking big risks on unproven experiments, and their work on Netflix is no exception. Daredevil and Jessica Jones have already led the charge with their own well-received series. Luke Cage and Iron Fist are next up. Marvel/Netflix are betting big that these characters will also make a good impression because a Defenders team-up series with all four heroes is already well into development.
Drew Goddard (Lost, The Cabin in the Woods) was originally supposed to usher Daredevil onto Netflix as the showrunner, but writing responsibilities on Sony's canceled Sinister Six project prevented him from being as involved as originally intended, reducing his role to that of executive producer, a role he will be returning to for The Defenders.
In an interview with IGN, Goddard confirmed that, despite a busy schedule, he's still very much involved with The Defenders. "I was there this morning," said Goddard. "I’ll be there tomorrow. It’s been fun... My career is a story of going to hang out with my friends and make cool stuff."
He also talked a bit about why he thinks The Defenders is going to be something truly special:
"Somebody will just say, ‘I can’t believe we’re talking about Luke Cage and Iron Fist and Daredevil and Jessica in the same show.’ That seems like a pipe dream, ten years ago, the idea that we can have shows cross like that... I don’t remember that happening in a way that you can fit it into a plan. It’s been really fun. I don’t know that it would have worked without Netflix’s support of that vision.
I’m a comic guy, so I always like the idea that you have everyone’s individual run. You have the Daredevil comic; the Alias comic, the Jessica Jones comic… But then you have a summer arc, a team up, and that’s it’s own thing also. What’s been really fun is to see each show take on its own personality. Luke and Iron Fist haven’t launched yet but they’re very different. They’re not the same as Daredevil. They’re not the same as Jessica Jones. What’s really fun about it is taking all four different genres and putting them together sort of inherently creates its own genre."
While crossovers and spinoffs are nothing new in television, the level of organized brand synergy that Marvel Studios has shown in their movies, and are aiming for on Netflix, is truly unprecedented. Only time will tell if their Defenders experiment works as well as The Avengers did, but it sounds like they're on the right track. Marvel has done nothing if not surprise us with how well their comic style can work in live action.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on The Defenders as they hit.
Daredevil season 1 & 2 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Luke Cage season 1 will arrive on September 30th, 2016. The Defenders and Iron Fist arrive in 2017. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, The Punisher and Daredevil season 3 have not yet been announced.