As Entertainment Weekly continues its preview of Netflix’s big Marvel team-up The Defenders, the outlet has been speaking to showrunner Marco Ramirez about the crossover series, and the challenges of combining the separate Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist shows to deliver one cohesive tone.
“It’s ultimately a story about a family of orphans who are very grown-up but still have more growing up to do,” said Ramirez. “This was something I told the writers: It’s taking the questions that were posed in the finales of each of their shows. So the last times we saw them, where are they, and what are they going to need to do in order to grow up? What do they, as they come out of their own seasons, need?… We never wanted anyone to feel like they’re a guest on anyone else’s show. It’s weirdly about all four of them. It’s about all of their collective stories finally folding in on each other.”
“One of the good things about how the other shows all operate is they’re all about a central protagonist, and at the end of the day, they’re not about superpowers,” he continued. “They’re all about someone who has some major flaw and some major crisis and also heroically somehow overcomes it. One of the things early on that I found helpful was not to think about how many differences they have but to go the opposite way and think about how much they have in common. And aside from the fact that they are all Marvel characters, there’s a recurring theme here with people who are orphans or people who don’t understand this urge but feel the need to do good and are constantly fighting inner turmoil and having that affect their personal lives. There’s a certain amount of maturity with how they deal with the superhero-ness of it all… We didn’t think about it in terms of how we’ll combine all the tones. We thought about the tone as its own thing. It’s about making sure this thing is something that could encapsulate all four worlds.”
Ramirez also offered some insight into the interactions between the four street-level heroes, adding that: “When it came down to it, there was just no way we would get away with telling this story and not have Danny Rand and Luke Cage have some chemistry, just because of what’s been established in the comics for them in Heroes for Hire. Danny and Matt’s relationship is really exciting to me. The Luke and Jessica and Danny dynamic is exciting. And that may be one of the most fun parts of the show to some people. Everyone needs a relationship with everyone else here…We look up at a bunch of boards in the writers’ room, at the full season, and say, ‘Oh wait, we haven’t seen an interaction between these two,’ or, ‘These three haven’t been together yet.’ So what does that mean? Where does that lead? It was almost like a checklist, like, ‘Where’s our great Luke and Jessica scene? Where’s our Danny and Matt scene?'”
“Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.”
The Defenders will hit Netflix in 2017, with Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Finn Jones (Iron Fist), Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Scott Glenn (Stick), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing) and Elodie Yung (Elektra) appearing alongside Sigourney Weaver as the villain, Alexandra.