Yesterday, Marvel Television unveiled The Defenders first look with new photos along with the cover of this week's print edition of Entertainment Weekly, featuring the four main stars. Today we have a first look at Sigourney Weaver as the main villain Alexandra, with showrunner Marco Ramirez shedding some light on this nefarious character. He also had plenty of praise for the actress herself, teasing that Alexandra represents a threat big enough to force these Hell's Kitchen heroes to work together. Here's what he had to say below.
"Sigourney is the kind of person you can buy as the smartest person in the room, who you can also buy as a person holding a flamethrower. Her character is a very powerful force in New York City. She's everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous. I'm sorry. I can only say a bunch of adjectives right now. We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together, but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world."
Marco Ramirez initially came aboard to serve as one of The Defenders showrunner alongside Douglas Petrie, who both served as showrunners on Daredevil Season 2. However, when shooting began in late October, Douglas Petrie stepped down as co-showrunner, with Marvel TV president Jeph Loeb revealing that "Marco is to continue, and Doug pursued other avenues." Marco Ramirez revealed in another interview with EW that he wasn't worried about Douglas Petrie leaving the show.
"We've all been working on this for a very long time, so we're good. Daredevil season 2 was an interesting audition, in a way, because we dealt with three major characters (Daredevil, Punisher and Elektra). I'd gone through the motions of figuring out how to cross those streams and mix the tones of each of those worlds."
The Defenders is getting a summer 2017 release, arriving a few months after Iron Fist debuts March 17. Netflix and Marvel have not announced an official premiere date. Aside from the fact that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist all operate out of the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City, they might not seem to have a lot in common, on the surface. However, Marco Ramirez reveals that one of his approaches to bringing these characters together was embracing how alike they really are.
"One of the good things about how the other shows all operate is 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. One of the things early on that I found helpful was not to think about how many differences they have but to go the opposite way and think about how much they have in common. And aside from the fact that they are all Marvel characters, 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. The other thing to remember is that there have already been characters who have cross-pollinated from one world to the other... In some cases they don't know who each other are, but in some cases, they do. Obviously Luke and Jessica know each other, but others don't know each other, so it's about that in the beginning. Are you an enemy, or are you a friend?"
The first three shows, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have all been widely embraced by fans and critics, with Iron Fist shaping up to be a big hit as well. Bringing four established heroes together in one mini-series is certainly no easy task, but Marco Ramirez teased how he approached bringing them all together. Here's what he had to say below.
"Yeah, to me, it's about four independent thinkers on their own flawed journeys who realize for a brief moment in time, they're actually stronger together than they are apart. It's ultimately a story about a family of orphans who are very grown-up but still have more growing up to do. But in terms of their individual character arcs, it was basically taking the questions that were posted. This was something I told the writers: 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?... We never wanted anyone to feel like they're a guest on anyone else's show. It's weirdly about all four of them. It's about all of their collective stories finally folding in on each other. I mean, you don't have to have seen any of the other shows to come to this. We're not entering the world of capes and superheroes. We're taking our cues from shows like The Wire and The Shield. This is about what happens in the back alleys of New York City, and how people have to rise to the occasion. It's for a fan of good crime TV as much as it is for a fan of superhero TV shows."
Aside from Daredevil (Charlie Cox) Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones), The Defenders will also bring in a number of other familiar characters from each respective show. Also returning for The Defenders is Rosario Dawson's Night Nurse, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, Simone Missick's Misty Knight, Scott Glenn's Stick, Carrie-Anne Moss' Jerilyn Hogarth, Eka Darville's Malcolm Ducasse, Elden Henson's Foggy Nelson and Rachael Taylor's Trish Walker. Take a look at the first photo featuring Sigourney Weaver's Alexandra from The Defenders, and stay tuned for more on this highly-anticipated series.