The Defenders won’t officially kick off until later this year, but fans are already hard at work speculating over what to expect from the highly anticipated team-up series. Over the last few months, plenty of theories have been circulating about everything from the show’s potential villain to which other Marvel characters could appear. Here are four of the biggest rumors about the upcoming Netflix show.
1. Mephisto might be the main villain
For the last few months, rumors have been flying that Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil will be facing off against Marvel villain Mephisto in their upcoming team-up series. In the comics, Mephisto is an immortal demonic entity based on the character from German folklore, Mephistopheles. He possesses mystical powers, including shape and size-shifting, matter manipulation, illusion-projecting, and altering time.
Marvel has yet to comment on the character’s possible inclusion in the series, but speculation has only ramped up over the last few weeks due to the recent casting of Sigourney Weaver. As announced at New York Comic Con in October, Weaver will be playing the primary antagonist in the show, although details of her character have not been revealed.
Given the past villain-related rumors, could she be playing a gender-swapped Mephisto? It’s just one of several theories about who Weaver could portray in the series.
2. Misty Knight may show up
Fans of Luke Cage character, Misty Knight, will be happy to learn that they may see more of her in The Defenders. Actress Simone Missick, who plays Cage’s ally and fellow defeater of bad guys, seemingly confirmed that she’ll be making an appearance in the coming team-up series in a recent interview.
“I believe I am safe to say that I will be on The Defenders,” she told The Wrap. “Spoiler alert! If I lose my job because of this interview, sorry! I was supposed to be on The Defenders until I got fired.”
Missick didn’t elaborate any further, so it remains unclear how and to what extent the character would be involved, should she show up. Marvel, for its part, has yet to confirm Knight’s inclusion in The Defenders.
Update 10/31/16: It’s been confirmed that Knight will appear in the upcoming series.
3. These Daredevil vets could also be involved
Jon Bernthal’s version of Frank Castle aka the Punisher in Daredevil Season 2 proved to be a favorite among fans. So it should come as no surprise that we’ll be seeing plenty more of him in Marvel’s future Netflix shows. Not only is he expected to headline his own spinoff series (due out in 2017), but he’s also rumored to be making an appearance alongside the other heroes in The Defenders. Neither Bernthal nor Marvel has commented on his potential participation, so this remains speculation as of now. Still, considering his history with Daredevil and his popularity among audiences, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him included.
Another Daredevil alum who we may see join The Defenders? Élodie Yung’s Elektra, whom we last saw resurrected at the end of Daredevil Season 2. Fans have suggested that her involvement with the ninja organization, The Hand could set up a bigger storyline for The Defenders. Again, Marvel has not commented on the speculation.
4. The Defenders may appear in the next Avengers sequels
Audiences have long since been wondering whether Marvel’s TV world will ever crossover with its movie universe. Though the logistics would likely be difficult, the possibility seems greater than ever now that we have a team of street-level heroes to fight alongside the big-name Avengers superheroes.
So could it actually happen? Rumors that the Defenders could show up in one of the next Avengers sequels have started circulating again after recent comments from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. Per IGN, Feige recently described the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie like this:
We will be intercutting a lot of stories in that movie in a lot of different locales, as it sort of is in the Avengers movies as well; who is facing off against who. In this movie, it’s going to be fun to mix that up. One of the things that’s great about the Infinity Gauntlet is everybody tried to go up against Thanos whether they were god-like powers or not, because that’s what Avengers do. The fun about those two movies that we’re doing essentially at the same time is everybody’s there.
Everybody? Even those without “god-like powers?” As in Jessica, Luke, and the other Defenders too? Of course, someone asked just that question, to which Feige only responded, “Spoilers!” Hmm … whether that was a vague hint or just a deflection remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: If any of The Defenders characters do make the leap to the big-screen, Feige wants to make sure it’s done right.
“I think it’s extremely impressive what Netflix has done and it will be the same answer I always give, which is, ‘It all depends on timing,'” he recently told Collider. “It all depends on how to do it because I don’t think what anybody wants to do is have such important characters show up for one second.”
The Defenders is expected to hit Netflix sometime in 2017. A specific premiere date is still TBD.
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