The Defenders: set images, release date confirmed, teaser trailer, and everything you need to know

Image: Entertainment Weekly

Fast Facts:

  • The Defenders release date: Summer 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: 10 April, 2017 - Here’s (finally) a load of The Defenders on set images

You have to give it to The Defenders; it's not given much away. Despite a handful of amateur videos - and even fewer official photographs - we know very little about the upcoming show, even though it premieres in just a few months.

If you’re hankering for something more tangible, however, 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, almost all of which haven’t been seen before.

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.

Update: 4 April, 2017 - The Defenders release date finally confirmed

The Defenders will premiere on 18 August, 2017.

At first, Netflix’s recent mysterious video teaser doesn’t look as though it’s giving much away (other than it’s the first time we’ve see the four leads united, of course). But the time stamp in the top right hits 08.18.20:17 the moment Jones smashes the security camera, suggesting the series will debut on 18 August, 2017. 

But just in case you think we’re reaching, there’s further evidence, too.

In the top left there’s a IP address which’ll take 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, 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.

Update: 19 March, 2017 - Filming wraps up on the Marvel superhero series 

Defenders wrap party . Makeup team in da house! These girls made this show fun and worked their ass off ! Couldn't have done it without all of U ! ❤👩‍👩‍👧‍👧

A photo posted by @sarklmakeup on Mar 18, 2017 at 9:47pm PDT

Filming for the eight episodes of The Defenders' augural series kicked off in New York City in October. We’ve seen a few candid shots of the team in action, but other than that, information about the show - rumoured or otherwise - has been disappointingly sparse.

At least we know why we haven’t seen any more fan-footage, though. Defenders makeup artist Sarit Klein (thanks, CBR) posted a photo-booth shot of the makeup team taken at the show’s wrap party, which can only mean one thing -  filming is officially over.

I know; the photo doesn’t give much away, but knowing filming’s finished brings us one step closer to that premiere date, right?

Update: 16 March, 2017 - “We’re a bunch of oddballs,” says Iron Fist’s Finn Jones

(Image: © EW)

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

“The four of us, me, Krysten Ritter, Charlie Cox, Mike Colter, we have such a great dynamic between us as actors and as friends,” Jones said when asked what it was like to be on set with the other Defenders. “It feels like I’ve known them for my entire life. 

“We’ve all been through the same thing of leading our own shows, so when we come on set together, we all understand what we’ve been through and we all support and appreciate each other’s work. The way all the Defenders come together isn’t quite what you’d imagine, and it’s really fun bringing that to life in a very authentic way.”

“We’re a bunch of oddballs,” Jones added, 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.”

Update: March 15, 2017 - Daredevil finally turns up on The Defenders New York set

In another video we get to see more of The Defenders Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, only this time they’re joined by Daredevil himself, plus Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, too.

Though filming was primarily shot indoors, a fan managed to grab this footage from outside the building in west Manhattan. The Defenders seem to be breaking and entering and we’re sure Cage’s suspicious bag probably has nothing dodgy or illicit in it. No sir. Nothing to see here. 

Again there’s no audio - I guess what we could expect to hear from across the street is negligible anyway - but it’s a great behind-the-scenes peeks at the on-set action. 

I wonder if/when we’ll ever get to see the four main Defenders together before the show debuts...

Update: March 14, 2017 - This new fan-filmed teaser shows The Defenders teamed up and running away

There’s no audio (no doubt to remove spoilers, as well as one of those pesky legal challenges), but a new video shares a sneaky peek of some of The Defenders in action.

We can’t see much, admittedly, but we can just about make out Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, plus a wounded Misty Knight, Claire Temple, and a blood-splattered Colleen Wing. 

Nope, there’s no Daredevil in attendance.

Rather than kicking ass, though, in this scene The Defenders are very much on the defensive and seem to be running away. What could they running from, I wonder? And what could be on the green screen? Is the location - Daredevil turf Hell’s Kitchen - a clue?

*** The original story follows below ***

The Defenders are ready to take back New York City

(Image: © EW)

It’s time for the Avengers to move over, the Marvel universe is going to get a whole lot bigger… not to mention a whole lot tougher, too.

Banding together the individual Marvel series’ Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones, Marvel’s The Defenders will unite to protect New York from mysterious adversary Alexandra. Yes, 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?

While details on the new series are kind of sparse right now, 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. Dive in for more but be cautious, this might not be the place to be if you’re looking to avoid spoilers, even if much is just speculation at this point.

The Defenders release date will hit this summer

Marvel’s The Defenders was confirmed at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con. While we’ve been told it’ll hit screens globally later this summer (Q2 or Q3), the precise release date has yet to be announced. I know. Sad times.

That said, we do have an inkling of when it’ll drop, chiefly thanks to Netflix’s routine release schedule that usually launches one Marvel series early in the year, and another towards the end. Given that we know Iron Fist will be hitting the streaming service March 17, 2017 - and Netflix won’t be pushing out new seasons of Jessica Jones or Daredevil until next year - that puts The Defenders release date probably sometime between August and November. I think (and hope).

The Defenders cast unites multiple superheroes

(Image: © EW)

While the teaser trailers haven’t told us much (more on that later), what we do know is that as well as the leads - Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Iron Fist) - we’ll see a host of familiar faces from the Marvel TV universe.

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 one still 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."

The Defenders trailer doesn’t give much away

As teasers go, this one’s playing its card irritatingly close to its chest and tells us very little 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. Hmm.

The Defenders plot may feature an apocalypse

(Image: © EW)

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?'”

As you might expect this early on, confirmation about the storyline is scarce, but in a recent 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.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?

Related The Defenders news

The Defenders teaser trailer reveals August release date

Fresh Defenders images show off Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Sigourney Weaver as the big bad

Marvel's Defenders has started filming - Jessica Jones and Misty Night are getting on just *fine*

Marvel's Defenders assemble for the first time in new Netflix pictures

Netflix teases (a little) more info about Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders

First trailer for Marvel's The Defenders teases a heroic team-up

According to Charlie Cox The Defenders starts shooting really soon

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