Last week, Entertainment Weekly released an issue highlighting Netflix’s highly anticipated superhero crossover, The Defenders. The series will see all four of their major Marvel superheroes — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — coming together for their first time to fight an as-of-yet named menace.
EW sat down to talk with each one of the actors regarding their role and where they find themselves at the beginning. First among them, EW sat down with the first Defender, Matt Murdock, as played by Charlie Cox. When last we saw him was at the end of his second season when Nelson (Elden Henson) and Murdock fell apart, Elektra (Elodie Yung) was killed by The Hand (or was she) and Matt Murdock came out of the superhero closet to his love interest, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).
According to Mr. Cox, at the beginning of The Defenders, we first find Matt Murdock a “few months since the end of season 2.” And, as he says, “… it’s been a challenging few months for him. He took the death of Elektra very badly — I think he feels responsible for that.”
In fact, according to Cox, Matt Murdock quitting his life as Daredevil is like “quitting an addiction in the hope that life will get easier.” However, without this way of life, “He’s perhaps a little bit lost, and the best he can do for now is to not engage in his vigilante activities.”
With that, when Defenders starts —
“I’m not sure he’s completely found peace with that idea. I think he’s doing the best with what he can at the time. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place, which is the crux of his issue really from the beginning of season 1. “Should I or shouldn’t I? What is more beneficial to society?”
As for Mike Colter, who plays Luke Cage, when last we saw him, he was being taken back to Seagate Prison to finish off his prior sentence. He’s spent the last few years of his life trying to lay low and keep out of site, but now, he’s the Hero of Harlem and everyone knows his face.
Colter told EW that, “It’s safe to say Cage is not going to spend the entire season of The Defenders behind bars.” This is a big deal because, as Colter says, “He’s been able to come clean and deal with his past…Now that that’s out of the way, I think we can give him a different approach to life.”
But this has given Cage a huge dose of perspective, with Colter referring to Cage as “I’m the guy, the wisdom.” He went on to say, “If you want to make sure something works, run it up the flagpole.”
Basically, Luke is the mature one. This will fuel how he relates to the newest member of the group, Iron Fist Danny Rand, as played by Finn Jones. According to Colter, Danny Rand is “… a young guy. There’s an exuberance that Iron Fist comes with that Luke Cage wants to temper a bit. It can’t help but have a wisdom-versus-youth quality…” In other words, “Danny comes out like a bull in a china shop in some ways, and I think Luke has seen the world and knows certain things. It’s a cool combination that’ll work out.”
So, does that mean we’ll see a Heroes for Hire team up? Colter has an answer for that too, saying, “We definitely want to pay homage to the fanboys, but we want to make it make sense in this time period.”
Finally, there’s Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter. EW caught up with her as well to find out where she’s been since her series. If you remember, when her series ended, she had killed Kilgrave, which brought a lot of attention and business to her private eye firm, Alias Investigations.
According to Ritter, that is where we find her at the beginning of the series. As she says, “She’s still dealing with the aftermath of Kilgrave, and now she’s dealing with ‘success’ — and not well.” She goes on to add —
“People want her to work for them, she’s getting a lot of business, and she’s not ready for any of that. She hasn’t changed, but her environment has, and there’s no handbook for how to exist in a world where you are now popular.”
So, that’s how the characters feel, but the true magic of this series will be seeing how exactly these random heroes, who are hesitant to work together, actually work together. The general consensus between the actors is that none of them actually want to work together and, in fact, most likely don’t plan to work together ever again. More than anything, they’re forced to team up for this one specific threat.
But how exactly does that happen? As Charlie Cox says, “From what we’ve shot so far, they want to genuinely make a difference and help people out.” The reasons for this, he feels are that they are all, “living with a shame and a loneliness and have felt kind of ostracized. I think they felt like freaks and have been misunderstood.”
Though, he does caution that Jessica Jones may not feel that way, saying, “I’m not convinced that Jessica Jones feels quite as earnestly about that.”
Jessica Jones may feel that way, but the actress who plays her, Krysten Ritter, feels the exact opposite saying, “When I read the first two scripts, I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be big,’ because it’s so fun seeing these huge characters, and not just the four of us, but all of us in one show.” She is, of course, referring to the series also bringing in all of the secondary characters, like Malcolm (Eka Darville) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick).
Perhaps the best way to summarize their camaraderie comes from Charlie Cox who said, “… just thinking of this shot we did, I looked at it and I thought, ‘What a bunch of misfits.’ In a great way! It’s like a misfit Scooby gang.”
The Avengers equal world traveling bad asses who don’t shy away from the cameras.
The Defenders equal misfits who are only working together for this one thing because they have to and then never seeing each other again.
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