ByTom Bacon, writer at
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Tom Bacon

Marvel's hit Netflix shows are building towards a triumphant climax in 2017, with the release of The Defenders — an 8-episode epic uniting Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist in an uneasy alliance against a threat to the whole of New York. is essentially following the pattern of the movies, with The Defenders acting as the focal point of Phase 1. It looks sure to be a wild ride!

This article will be updated continually with the newest Defenders news, so make sure you return frequently to catch it all!

'The Defenders' News & Rumors

[Updated 04/04/2017] The Release Date of 'The Defenders' confirmed, and Joe Quesada release outstanding concept art!

Joe Quesada has released outstanding concept art for The Defenders. The art was originally leaked on Instagram in low-quality, with fans unable to tell if the second female was Elektra or Colleen. It's definitely Elektra, though!

Netflix surprised us with a video that, among other things, finally gave us a release date - August 18th, 2017. Meanwhile, the short clip teases a whole lot more...

Fans have been poring over Iron Fist to explore how the controversial series sets up The Defenders. In truth, the show seems to have been something of a prologue to this 8-episode event series, with Iron Fist set to play a key role, and the Hand fleshed out as villains.

Meanwhile, one Redditor has revealed how Stan Lee will allegedly cameo in the series!

The Defenders assemble. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix / Entertainment Weekly]
The Defenders assemble. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix / Entertainment Weekly]

Entertainment Weekly published an exclusive that blows the lid on a lot of the Defenders details! We learned that each Defender follows a trail of bread-crumbs, which ultmiately leads them to a group hallway fight! They won't automatically click at first — in fact, they might never come to like one another — but each will play an important role. Iron Fist will be particularly important, as he's the character who truly understands what's going on.

Sigourney Weaver's character has recently been named — she's apparently playing the main villain, Alexandra. This seems to be a gender-swapped minor Daredevil villain known as Alexander Bont, and promises a particularly difficult time for the Man Without Fear.

The Defenders' Release Date

Streaming only on Netflix, The Defenders has now been confirmed for release on August 18th, 2017.

'The Defenders' Trailer

The first Defenders trailer was released at SDCC 2016, and gave us a glimpse of what to expect. It's pretty cool, even if it is sparse on details (no surprise, given that — at the time of release — neither Luke Cage nor Iron Fist had been released). Significantly, though, it features a voice-over from Scott Glenn's Stick, which many took to mean that the Hand would be the major villains.

'The Defenders' Characters

The Defenders: [Credit: Marvel Comics]
The Defenders: [Credit: Marvel Comics]

In the original comics, the Defenders were a cosmic super-team who included powerhouses such as Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, and the Hulk. Marvel Netflix put their own spin on The Defenders characters, though, reinventing them as a street-level team based in New York City.

In the Marvel Netflix timeline, is a seasoned vigilante whose personal life is under very real strain. Daredevil Season 2 exacted a terrible toll on the Man Without Fear, as he went up against the Hand and the Punisher; ultimately, the love of his life, Elektra, was killed. What Daredevil doesn't know, though, is that she was resurrected as an agent of the Hand...

Don't mess with Elektra. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]
Don't mess with Elektra. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]

Meanwhile, private investigator has built up a degree of notoriety for herself. Jessica Jones Season 1 saw her struggling against the manipulations of Kilgrave, and she finally broke his neck. References since then have suggested that her story is an inflammatory one, with many refusing to believe that the man she killed actually posed the threat she claims. Meanwhile, set photos have suggested Jessica has a strong friendship with Matt Murdock.

has recently become every bit as controversial as Jessica Jones, after he became a very public superhero in Harlem. Luke Cage Season 1 ended with him arrested for his prison break from Seagate.

has proven the most controversial Defender to date, with Finn Jones's casting a matter of real-world debate. In-universe, Danny Rand has stepped up as a major new CEO. His dynamic with Luke Cage is sure to be a highlight of The Defenders.

Heroes for Hire. [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Heroes for Hire. [Credit: Marvel Comics]

Perhaps the most significant secondary character, though, is . She looks set to be the thread that draws the Defenders together; she knows Daredevil's secret identity, is falling for Luke Cage, and has history with Jessica Jones. What's more, Iron Fist has seen Claire up her game and learn a bit of self-defence!

'The Defenders' Cast

The core confirmed Defenders cast members are:

Charlie Cox as Daredevil

Charlie Cox as Daredevil. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]
Charlie Cox as Daredevil. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]

The flagship superhero of Marvel Netflix, Charlie Cox's Daredevil is likely to take center-stage. Some key members of his supporting cast have also been confirmed for The Defenders: namely, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, Elden Henson's Foggy Nelson, Scott Glenn's Stick, and Elodie Yung's Elektra.

Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]

The brilliant Krysten Ritter starred in the psychological drama Jessica Jones Season 1, and Season 2 will take place after The Defenders. She's confirmed to be bringing along key supporting cast members, including Carrie-Ann Moss as Jeri Hogarth, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, and Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker.

Mike Colter's Luke Cage

Mike Colter as Luke Cage. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]
Mike Colter as Luke Cage. [Credit: Marvel / Netflix]

We were introduced to Mike Colter's Luke Cage in Jessica Jones Season 1, but his solo series turned out to be a wonderfully atmospheric show. So far, the only confirmed member of Luke Cage's supporting cast to appear in The Defenders is Simone Missick's Misty Knight, and set photos have suggested she's going to have a showdown with Jessica Jones...

Finn Jones's Iron Fist

Finn Jones as Iron Fist. [Credit: Marvel/Netflix/Entertainment Weekly]
Finn Jones as Iron Fist. [Credit: Marvel/Netflix/Entertainment Weekly]

Although Finn Jones's Iron Fist is set to play a key role as Marvel's mystical martial artist - not least because he's the resident expert on the Hand - we don't know how this is going to play out. What's more, we haven't been given much information on which members of Iron Fist's supporting cast will transition to The Defenders, although we can be pretty confident about Jessica Henwick's Colleen Wing.

Sigourney Weaver as an unknown villain

In a surprising announcement at NYCC 2016, Marvel revealed that none other than sci-fi legend Sigourney Weaver will be playing the lead villain in The Defenders, a mysterious character known as Alexandra.

'The Defenders' Theories

The trailer makes it pretty clear that the Hand will be playing a major role in The Defenders, so nobody was surprised when Elodie Yung was confirmed to be appearing in the series. Meanwhile, photos released to EW suggest that the team will struggle to earn New York's approval, possibly with political figures attempting to stir up anti-superhero/vigilante sentiments.

A major topic of debate is Sigourney Weaver's Alexandra, who seems likely to be a gender-swapped Alexander Bont - a minor Daredevil villain. There's also some speculation that she could be a member of the Snakeroot — the mystical group who run the Hand. Meanwhile, some fans are theorizing that there'll be a strong connection between Iron Fist and the Hand, perhaps with the Hand seeking the Eighth City.

It seems very unlikely that John Bernthal's Punisher will make an appearance.

Where To Watch The Defenders Online

Marvel's The Defenders will be released exclusively on Netflix in 2017, although it's possible there will be a later DVD / Blu-Ray release.


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