Finn and The Defenders cast featured on Empire UK new issue. You can find the digital can on our gallery and read the article here:
IF THERE’S ONE thing people love more than superheroes, it’s more superheroes. Superheroes all over the shop, teaming up, palling around, occasionally squabbling. Oh, and fighting evil.
The Avengers did it, to great success of course, in 2012, which triggered a vast expansion of costumed crusaders. And now comes the latest big Marvel team, streaming straight to sofas everywhere: The Defenders. The latest bingeable Netflix series isn’t, as you might think, focused on a flat back four. Instead, it brings together, over a truncated eight episodes, the four heroes introduced over the last three years — Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, Mike Colter’s Luke Cage, and the most recent addition, the much-maligned Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones) — to face down a threat so great, one hero won’t do: Sigourney Weaver, as a mysterious and powerful executive called Alexandra. Oh, and shadowy ninja organisation The Hand.
“I was concerned about how you could combine those worlds,” admits Cox. “Tonally they feel so different. But it feels like all the characters have been respected, and the show has a tone of its own. [They’ve] kept it grounded, but at the same time it lives in a slightly mythical world.”
It may not rival The Avengers in scale, but The Defenders will mark a definite step up in scale from the solo shows, where these street-level heroes set about — yes! — defending their New York boroughs, from Hell’s Kitchen to Harlem, with vigilante vigour. None would be a prized card in a Marvel Top Trumps game. There’s nobody here with Thor-level powers. Daredevil is a blind man with heightened senses and ninja training. Jessica Jones punches things and delivers sardonic one-liners. Luke Cage is bulletproof and also punches things. Danny Rand has a glowing fist, ideal for karate-chopping things, and is again with the ninja training.
But its joys won’t just come from seeing them facing off against Weaver and her minions (“Aliens is one of my favourite movies,” laughs Cox. “I wanted to say, ‘Get away from her, you bitch!’ when I met her at New York Comic-Con, but I chickened out”). It’ll also stem from the interplay between these four hardened, cynical heroes, some of whom (Luke and Jessica) have already met, and exchanged more than fighting tips. “We’re very reluctant at first,” says Colter. “Nobody really wants to work with anyone.” In fact, there could be so much infighting, it might well be a case of Defenders Disassemble. “By the end of the show, I think it might be more like The Hangover,” laughs Colter. “‘I don’t ever want to see you again!’”