What Can We Expect to See in ‘The Defenders’? The Stars Tell All

On August 18, The Defenders will hit Netflix. The miniseries will follow four Marvel heroes who have each held down at least one season of their own show: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

In anticipation of the upcoming release, we’ve learned a few new details about the super saviors and their mission. Here’s what we know about The Defenders.

Early reviews

Krysten Ritter, Finn Jones, Charlie Cox, and Mike Coulter in The Defenders standing together in an elevator

Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

Several lucky critics have scored access to the first few episodes, and the reviews are good so far. Rotten Tomatoes calculates an 80% positive rating from 10 critical reviews, but there won’t be a consensus until the series is released.

Cinema Blend calls the series “everything we wanted it to be.” But not everyone is pleased: “Some acts are just better off going solo,” writes USA Today.

It’s a very mini miniseries

Mike Coulter, Krysten Ritter, and Charlie Cox in Marvel's The Defenders sitting on a subway train

Mike Coulter, Krysten Ritter, and Charlie Cox in Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

Netflix wasn’t kidding when it deemed this a miniseries. With only eight episodes in comparison to the usual 13 for the solo shows, The Defenders will be an easy binge-watch for most.

Despite the fact that every show has built up to this point, it sounds like this may be the only full team-up we’re going to get from Netflix. Marvel Television mastermind Jeph Loeb told Collider, “I don’t know that there will be a Defenders No. 2.”

Who is Alexandra?

Alexandra rests a hand on the shoulder of Madame Gao while they look at each other.

Wai Ching Ho and Sigourney Weaver in Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

Netflix caught a big fish with Sigourney Weaver. The acclaimed actress will portray Alexandra, the villain that the Defenders are up against. But what do we know about her beyond that?

Not a lot. Finn Jones, who plays Danny Rand (Iron Fist), calls her “not a clear-cut villain.” Weaver herself agrees, calling Alexandra “very complex” and hinting about her “very interesting relationship” with a leader of the Hand, Madame Gao.

We learn more about Iron Fist

Danny Rand (Iron Fist) sits in a chair in a suit.

Finn Jones in Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

Undoubtedly the least liked hero (and series) of The Defenders is Iron Fist. This may be at least in part due to the lack of completion in his storyline — which The Defenders supposedly aids in wrapping up. Jones himself explains:

At the end of Iron Fist, [Danny] doesn’t even know what a superhero is. So then to suddenly be interacting with these three… [They] really make him kind of wise up and come to terms with his responsibilities a lot more. From the beginning where we see Danny in Iron Fist to where he ends up in The Defenders, he has made that complete origin arc. He has shed his immature self. The idea is, in The Defenders, he has in a sense become the Iron Fist.

Signature colors

From left to right: Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand in The Defenders

Left: Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Center Left: Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Center Right: Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Right: Finn Jones as Danny Rand in Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

In addition to the acting and storylines, the solo shows leading up to The Defenders have been praised for their sound and visual elements. The miniseries has kept this going, with a special nod to the comics via colors.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with S.J. Clarkson, director of the first two episodes, about this:

One method was through the palette she established: Scenes with each lead are awash in their signature primary color (red for Cox’s Daredevil, blue for Krysten Ritter’s Jones, yellow for Mike Colter’s Cage and green for Finn Jones’ Iron Fist). “Hopefully that’ll draw you in and then when they all come together, it’s an even more exciting and bigger payoff,” said Clarkson.

Elektra’s new look

Elodie Yung as Elektra looking at weapons in Marvel's The Defenders

Elodie Yung as Elektra in Marvel’s The Defenders | Netflix

While we’re on the subject of the characters’ styles, let’s talk about Elektra. If you watched Daredevil Season 2, you know that his former love interest was sadly killed in a battle with the Hand.

But it would appear she’s been brought back to life and given a new costume to boot. What will it look like? Comicbook.com speculates, using the source material as a guide. We also have a few early images to help us out, but chances are this big secret will be kept hush-hush until August 18.

More seasons ahead

Deborah Ann Wolf and Jon Bernthal sitting on a bench in The Punisher

Deborah Ann Wolf and Jon Bernthal in The Punisher | Netflix

We know that the future of the Defenders together isn’t looking good. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get to see them on their own (at least) once more.

Right now, we know that Daredevil Season 3 is in the works, and Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will all have second seasons. There’s also Season 1 of The Punisher on the horizon.

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