The Defenders: trailers, cast info, release date, story clues, set photos, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • The Defenders release date: August 18, 2017
  • Cast: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Elden Henson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville, Scott Glenn, Élodie Yung, Rachael Taylor, Rosario Dawson
  • Director: S.J. Clarkson
  • Showrunners: Doug Petrie, Marco Ramirez

Update: 8 June, 2017 - The Defenders are trolling each other on Twitter

We didn't think we could get any more excited for The Defenders... and then this happened on Twitter. 

As Daredevil shares a video memory via the popular Throwback Thursday (#TBT) hashtag, the other Defenders can't help but get reply. And it's brilliant.

Well played, Jones - well played!

***The original article continues below***

The Defenders are ready to take back New York City

(Image: © EW)

Adieu, Avengers - it’s time for another crack Marvel team to band together and save the universe. 

These guys aren’t best known for their team spirit and cooperation, so we can’t wait to see this Defenders’ line-up - Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones - work together to protect New York from mysterious adversary, Alexandra.

Yep, that’s something of a departure from the team as we know it from the comic series (more on that later), but we’re not too worried… I mean, how can we be with such an amazing line-up?

For more go ahead and dive in, but be cautious; this might not be the place to be if you’re looking to avoid spoilers, even if much remains mere speculation at this point. But if you want more, we've pulled together everything - and we do mean everything - right here in one place for your convenience, including the very best rumours and good ‘ole idle gossip. Enjoy.

The Defenders release date is 18 August 2017

The Defenders will premiere on 18 August, 2017.

At first, Netflix’s mysterious video teaser didn’t look as though it was giving much away other than it’s the first time we’ve see the four leads united in a trailer, of course. 

But the time stamp in the top right hits 08.18.20:17 at the exact moment Jones smashes the security camera, suggesting the series will debut on 18 August, 2017 … which turned out to be correct.

In the top left there’s also a IP address, which takes you to a faux NY Bulletin website (yes, where Daredevil's Karen Page works). At the bottom, a disclaimer reads: “Watch 'Marvel’s The Defenders' All Episodes Streaming Only on Netflix August 18.” 

Oh, and if you're on the mini-site, check out the Chikara Dojo advertisement on the right of the NY Bulletin site, too; it leads you to a site for Kenjutsu practitioner and sensei, Colleen Wing.

The Defenders cast unites multiple superheroes

(Image: © EW)

Whilst we know The Defenders unites Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Iron Fist), we’ll also see a host of familiar faces from the Marvel TV universe, too. Most notably, Daredevil’s Stick (Scott Glenn), Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and Elektra (Elodie Yung); Jessica Jones’ Malcolm Ducasse (Eka Darville) and Trish ‘Hellcat’ Taylor (Rachael Taylor); and Luke Cage’s Misty Knight (Simone Missick). 

Plus, the in-almost-all-of-those-show’s Jeri Hogarth, the gender-swapped version of Jeryn Hogarth, played by Carrie-Ann Moss, and Claire ‘Night Nurse’ Temple, played by Rosario Dawson.

That’s not all though, as The Defender’s big bad will be played by none other than Sigourney Weaver. So far, we’ve only had a handful of still images of her character doing… well, not very much quite honestly, but as we now know Weaver’s confirmed as the show’s chief antagonist, Alexandra, it’s cool to infer all kinds of evil from the arch of that brow, right? 

"Basically the four heroes come up against this really nice woman, who I'm playing," she told "It's been a blast and I really love my character. I love the shows, too, which I wasn't familiar with before doing this. A real love letter to New York. To me they're not superheroes; they're people with a gift."

In an interview with Metro, Finn Jones has given an insight into life as one of the Defenders superheroes. 

“We’re a bunch of oddballs,” Jones said, when asked about his fellow Marvel superheroes. “We’re a bunch of characters who find ourselves in this situation and we’re kind of forced into joining up as a team. If anything it’s kind of a reluctant, ‘oh god, are we actually going to do this?’ Rather than a proud ‘We are the heroes!’ 

"It’s the complete opposite and I think the show is all the more realistic because of it.”

(Image: © EW)

If you’ve been wondering how The Defenders is going to unite four huge Marvel personalities, you’re not alone. Talking to the LA Times, co-showrunner Marco Ramirez dropped a little insider insight into the group dynamics of the unlikely quartet that has been thrown together by circumstances, not choice. 

We know the characters will likely retain their own individual fighting styles, but as for who leads? Well, that’s still up for grabs. "There's no official hierarchy, all that's yet to be set," Ramirez said. "We get to lean into the messiness, and the haste, of these four all thrown together dealing and working professionally with each other.

"Daredevil, the trained boxer of the group, just wants every punch to be the last. Luke Cage plays defense — he's the guy who will cover a child, he will use his body defensively,” he added. “Jessica Jones just wants the fight to be over, takes no joy in it and detests every part of the act, even the build up. That, as an attitude, is so much fun to watch once she's fighting. Danny Rand is kind of hot-headed, a little more naïve than the others. He's very eager and gets himself into fights and bites off more than he can chew, a lot."

It'll be interesting to see if a natural leader emerges from this motley crew, eh? 

The Defenders trailers still don’t give much away

Despite a handful of teasers and images, the first The Defenders teaser played its card irritatingly close to its chest, offering us very little about the show other than confirming the identities of the wayward quartet, and cementing Scott Glenn’s reprisal as Daredevil mentor, Stick.

“You think the four of you can save New York?” Stick sneers over an acoustic reimagining of Nirvana’s iconic Come as You Are. “You can’t even save yourselves.”

Could Stick’s presence signify the return of The Hand? The outstretched palm at the teaser’s close certainly hints at such a possibility. But as a few officially-sanctioned images have since confirmed that our bad guy is actually bad gal Sigourney Weaver, we’re now a little uncertain...

As for our first, decent-length trailer? We’ve already broken it down to assess what's what, including an impressive hallway fight featuring all four characters - a tradition started with Daredevil season 1, of course - plus an Elektra who isn’t dead, but is knocking Daredevil through a window. Hmm.

As suspected, Stick’s also back to take point, Sigourney Weaver’s being suitably mean and mysterious, and there lots of “who’re you?”, “no, who’re YOU?!” moments as some of our teammates meet up for the first time. Fun times.

The Defenders plot may feature an apocalypse

Official marketing describes the show as “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 realise they just might be stronger when teamed together.”

Hmm. Sounds fine, I guess, but that tells us nothing juicy. What we really wanna know is what, exactly, would it take to get these four lone wolves to pull together as a single team?

“We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together,” showrunner Marco Ramirez told EW, “but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.” “Every one of them is following their own trail of breadcrumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York,” added Ramirez. “We wanted them all caught off guard. Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, shit, who are you?'”

Confirmation about the storyline itself is scarce, but in an interview Weaver admitted that while she found the “apocalyptic thing” hard to understand (oooh, so there may be an apocalypse?!), she loved her villainous character, as well as getting to know the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

We also now know The Defenders storyline will take place over “a couple of days” to boost intensity, thanks to Iron Fist actor, Finn Jones.

Talking in Houston at the 2017 Comicpalooza, Jones - appearing with co-star Mike Coulter (Luke Cage) - said: “[The Defenders] takes place in a very short amount of time. It’s eight episodes but it takes place over a couple of days. So it has this real-time frenetic energy to it which I think adds to the impending doom. 

"So we’re all kind of brought together not through choice, but through necessity. We don’t want to work with each other but our backs are against the wall and we kind of have to.”

This is a considerable step-change, given some sister Marvel shows - including Daredevil - take place over several months. It makes sense, too; we don’t need time to understand the squad’s individual backstories, and understand their motivations. We’re already familiar with each of the Defenders, so this year, we jump to the action even sooner. 

Still want more?

If you’re hankering for something more tangible, Getty Images (thanks, CBR) have put up a smorgsbord of shots that show the whole squad - some in character, some not - in a myriad of situations.

They don’t appear particularly spoilerific, but if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, you may want to give ‘em a miss, especially as the set boasts 3000+ images. If you’re keen, though, just click here and enjoy.

The series will offer eight episodes in the first instance, and we know the first two will be directed by Jessica Jones veteran S.J. Clarkson.

The Defenders comics… don’t tell us much

To trace the origins of Marvel’s The Defenders in comic form you need to slide all the way back to the groovy ‘70s. The original team was led by Doctor Strange, and featured Hulk and Namor who were - some time later - sporadically joined by Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Beast, Gargoyle, and Son of Satan.

In the ‘90s the Defenders’ revolving membership was addressed when Strange took charge of the team - now rechristened The Secret Defenders - by assembling bespoke teams for different missions, but the show’s current line-up of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist is a first... not to mention the first time a Defenders squad teams up without Doctor Strange to lead the charge.

The only characters confirmed for the show that have also been in the comic series are Hellcat and Luke Cage, who occasionally dropped by in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’ll be interesting to see how how the new quartet measure up to the comic teams, eh?

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