Last week came the first big unveiling of Netflix and Marvel’s “The Defenders” event series with a photoshoot spread for EW.
Now, executive producer and showrunner Marco Ramirez has sat down with the magazine to talk about the show’s tone and to tease what brings them together. Ramirez says the different tones of the individual shows with the four heroes aren’t that different which makes them gel easier:
“They’re all about a central protagonist, and at the end of the day, they’re not about superpowers. They’re all about someone who has some major flaw and some major crisis and also heroically somehow overcomes it.
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.
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?”
The topic of mixing up the characters together also came up, with Ramirez saying:
“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?”
Each also has their own style of fighting – Danny’s fist action, Matt’s parkour, Jessica’s street brawling, and Luke’s strength all combine together for the fight scenes. Each of the actors spoke about their roles as well. Charlie Cox says his Matt Murdock is still getting over the end of Daredevil’s second season (SPOILERS):
“I think it’s been quite a challenging few months for him. He took the death of Elektra very badly – I think he feels responsible for that. One of Matt’s big things is trying to protect the people he loves, which is why he keeps his identity hidden, and he’s failed. He’s left holding the dead body of a loved one, and so I think he’s tried to turn a corner.
It’s almost like quitting an addiction in the hope that it will get easier. He’s perhaps a little bit lost, and the best he can do for now is to not engage in his vigilante activities. When we meet him at the beginning of The Defenders, I’m not sure he’s completely found peace with that idea. I think he’s doing the best with what he can at the time. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place, which is the crux of his issue really from the beginning of season 1. ‘Should I or shouldn’t I? What is more beneficial to society?’.
These characters are living with a shame and a loneliness and have felt kind of ostracized. I think they felt like freaks and have been misunderstood. And as sad as that sounds, there’s also something quite beautiful about that. There’s something quite human about that.
Meanwhile Krysten Ritter, who says she’s mostly shot scenes opposite Charlie Cox and teases that their characters will share a ‘cat-and-mouse’ dynamic, talks about how the aftermath of Kilgrave’s death has impacted Jessica Jones:
“She’s still dealing with the aftermath of Kilgrave, and now she’s dealing with ‘success’ – and not well. People want her to work for them, she’s getting a lot of business, and she’s not ready for any of that. She hasn’t changed, but her environment has, and there’s no handbook for how to exist in a world where you are now popular.”
Writer Doug Petrie, who was attached to co-showrun the series with Ramirez, stepped away to pursue other projects in October after the eight scripts for the show had been completed. “The Defenders” airs on Netflix later this year.