Digging into the Defenders trailer

May 28, 2017

Digging into the Defenders trailer

May 28, 2017

Well, The Defenders trailer has been out for a while now, and I know I’m the last person (with an interest in said trailer and access to a blog) to talk about it. But hey, at least I got to it before there was a second trailer. Speaking of which, when do you suppose we’ll get to see additional footage? I’m sure they’re saving a lot of stuff for San Diego Comic Con in July, but surely we must be getting some little treat before then.

Anyway, as I said, many others before me have analyzed the trailer in some depth (a search on YouTube will serve up a handful, complete with speculation), so I just put together some still from scenes and shots that I wanted to comment on. Here goes.

Jessica meets Matt

Matt meets Jessica Jones. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

One thing you see throughout this trailer are the creators paying homage to earlier scenes and events in these character’s own shows. When Matt walks into the interrogation room where Misty is facing off with Jessica Jones, the scene reminds us of both previous scenes in Daredevil – such as when Matt and Foggy first meet Karen – and in Jessica Jones, where Jessica had previous run-ins with the police.

One thing I’m wondering about though, and this scene cuts right to the heart of it, is what Matt’s professional situation looks like at the start of The Defenders. Rumor has it that this takes place a few months after the end of the second season of Daredevil, at which point Matt was presumably out of a job after Matt and Foggy split, and Foggy went on to work for Jeri Hogarth. Matt is either working solo now (with some assistant who’s not Karen?), employed somewhere, or living off whatever secret funds kept a roof over his head through college and his not very profitable partnership with Foggy. For the sake of realism, I think it would be kind of neat for his backstory for the last few months to be that he actually had a really hard time finding new work due to discrimination, but I’m not expecting any miracles. ūüėČ

Danny – take two

Danny and Colleen walk through a door. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

So, this is Danny’s second outing as Iron Fist. As you know, I disagreed with much of the criticism launched against his solo series, with the exception of the problems with the Iron Fist character. For whatever it’s worth, it appears that The Defenders is treating Danny as that member of the group who’s really more like a younger sibling tagging along for the ride. Which is apt, considering he’s got some growing up to do. It also means that his immaturity serves some kind of point in the larger narrative in ways we didn’t see in Iron Fist.

If you pause the trailer at the right moment, you can see Colleen in the scene above, going through the green door ahead of Danny. In the scene below, we once again have a nod to Luke’s solo series where a guy famously breaks his hand trying to punch Luke and not even making a dent. With Danny’s “glowing fist,” we can presume that Luke might actually feel a little sore afterwards.

Danny punches Luke. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

It appears that Claire is the one bringing Luke and Danny together. When it comes to the first meeting between Matt and Jessica, it wouldn’t surprise me if the tip to look in on Jessica comes from Foggy, considering he works at Jeri’s firm and she may want to see Jessica taken care of, without getting directly involved herself. I guess we won’t know for sure until August 18 gets here.

Back in red

Daredevil's costume. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

It appears that The Defenders will take place a few months after Daredevil, season two, and there’s been some mention of Matt trying to put Daredevil behind him in the wake of Elektra’s death. And, considering other sources have said that the show itself will take place over just a few days, it makes sense that we might have to get into the story a bit before the suit makes a comeback. I know some of you have been asking to see more of it, but I think they’re probably looking to strike a good balance between Daredevil being the only one who actually has a costume, and this costume being what makes sense for him to wear if he’s going into battle.

Part of me thinks that it would be cool for Danny to get a costume too, but adapting the one from the comics to something that looks good on live action television might be a tall order.

Raising the dead

Elektra in her tomb. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

So, no big surprise, Elektra has been gestating in that big clay jar from season two of Daredevil (though which one of her caretakers decided red eyeliner was a good look?) and now she’s back, presumably as an all-out villain in this show. Considering what we learned about the Hand’s process of raising the dead, and the imperfect process that leaves people more violent and sinister each time they come back (see: Harold Meachum), I’m wondering if they’re going to adress that directly.

Elektra warms up. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

Whatever her puppet-masters’ plans for her are, Elektra still needs to warm up after her long hibernation, and I guess that’s what the above scene is for. It looks spectacular.

The mysterious Alexandra

Alexandra. Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

Can I just preface this with how awesome Sigourney Weaver is? She still exudes as much sheer kick-ass as she did in Alien, still has that striking presence, and I just have a really good feeling about what she’ll be bringing to the table. As for who she’s supposed to be? I really have no idea, but I’m definitely leaning to something otherworldly, such an incarnation of the Beast or even Mephisto. I would honestly prefer less mystical stuff, but considering what’s been going on in Daredevil and Iron Fist, this still seems like the most rational place to go if you want to make the threat big enough.

Hallway scene!

A hallway scene! Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

This scene pretty much speaks for itself, so I don’t have much to add to the general consensus here. All I can say is that it looks beautifully choreographed and really highlights the various Defenders’ different fighting styles. Can’t wait to see the full scene!

“I’m a what now?”

"I'm a blind ninja?" Image from the trailer for The Defenders.

You’ve got to love the simple, yet endearing, team getting together for a meal trope. In this scene, we actually (very briefly) see Matt laughing, as revealed by the movements of his shoulders in a shot that doesn’t show his face. We know that Matt doesn’t laugh nearly enough, so that’s always a good thing.

And then there’s the shot above, when Matt is taking in the fact that Danny just dubbed him the “blind ninja”. His “Oh, that’s the one we’re going with? Really?” face is priceless. I must admit that I’m also a big fanny of Jessica’s smart-ass comeback, as well as pretty much everything else she brings to this trailer.

Anything else you noticed and want to talk about? Any fanciful theories about who Alexandra is? Chime in in the comments!


  1. Tate

    Great little write up. The trailer was awesome and now I’ll never hear that Nirvana song again without thinking of DD and this crew.

    Elektra got a costume upgrade that is absolutely perfect. Of course there will still be lots of fanboys complaining that she has pants.

    My only reservations going into this are about Danny and Luke. Both of their series first seasons were really lacking. This season of Agents of Shield blew both of them out of the water and thats not easy to type. The second half of Cage was a cartoon and Iron Fist I like less the more I think about it. I’ve had zero desire to revisit either of them unlike DD (obviously) and Jessica Jones. These show runners, thankfully from Daredevil, have a lot of work to make them shine next to Matt and Jessica.

  2. Mike Murdock

    Great wrap up, always glad when you get a chance to post. One thing I’ll add is that the scene between Matt and Jessica is also an homage to the comics. The first meeting between the characters in Alias #3 where Jessica is being interrogated and Matt bursts in. At that time, he does it as a friend of Luke Cage. I suspect there might be a different connecting tissue here.

  3. Elizabeth

    I was curious in the hallway scene whether they are trying to get away from Elektra or working with her since she is behind them. Since she wasn’t on the elevator in the teaser, presumably just after the hallway scene, I suspect she was chasing them.

  4. Genesaur

    The trailer really gives the impression that DD won’t be wearing his costume for the majority of the show, if at all. The most we get is Matt wearing Jessica’s scarf like his black mask… instead of just going with the black mask. I’m very curious what explanation they’ll have for that.

    I think it is absolutely imperative that Iron Fist get a costume, or at the very least, that yellow mask with something simpler for the actual body. Not only would this balance things out for the team to make Daredevil not look so strange, but it’d fit with the overly self-serious despite childish naivet√© personality they’ve given Danny. You wanna call yourself the Immortal Iron Fist, you gotta own it. You gotta wear it.

    I get that they’re going for realism in these series, but what fun are superhero comic book adaptations without the colour? Everyone’s just in a dull grey, throughout most of the trailer, with Cage being the only one to rock some yellow.

  5. Luzita

    Thanks for another fine review. August seems so far away! I can’t wait to see these four characters interact, esp. Matt and Jessica, who are bound to bounce off each other in a really entertaining way. Those two are the best realized of the characters, and I’m trying to decide why, whether it is the writing and general quality of their shows or whether it is the actors. Although I do think DD and JJ are the best of the shows, I also think Charlie Cox and Krysten Ritter deserve a lot of credit for making their superheros so super. Not that Mike Colter and Finn Jones are bad, but they just don’t bring the same level of charisma. The four-way interaction should help their characters also, however.
    Also can’t wait to see the confrontation between Matt and the resurrected Elektra. It is bound to be extremely emotional, and I suspect Matt’s connection to Elektra will prove a key factor in the struggle against the Hand.
    One thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that the show is only 8 episodes. Seems to me if they’d made the individual-character shows shorter – like say only 10 episodes instead of 13, and then made the Defenders 20 episodes — that would have made more sense. It might have eliminated some of the pacing problems we’ve seen while allowing more space for all the characters in the combined series.

  6. geb

    Yes, this question mark on the proper level of costuming is a problem. It seems to represent more of the physical aspects of the barriers presented by the “to do or not” encountered with these series’ attempt to present the down to earth nature and side of vigilantism through these street-level heroes. With the philosophical question of just where and to what degree super-power should be bestowed and how it and the approach to mysticism should be executed for an outcome in believable enough fashion comprises the other part of the whole of the dilemma.

    Agree that some form of gear for Danny is essential to both adding dimension to the Iron Fist mythos, and thereby keeping in line with Danny’s personality, and to also keep somewhere within the (semi)super-hero(in) tone of these series. I think his martial arts style mask can be worked, the lapels not so much, but I love the chest-tat.
    And is that woman ahead of him but concealed upon entering first through the door at the house Collen? It’s just a split second but I think it is. If The Hand is to strike here and hard, it sort of makes sense that she should be a major player.

    It also feels as a line drawn to Alexandra’s dot of “the more connections you have, the easier it will be to take you down”. This being due in part because of Madam Gao’s role in the Fist series as well as in the other one’s and in part to Stick’s statement “the fight for NY is on” leading me to believe Alexandra’s interests are universally implanted and her motives perhaps even guided by and answering only to Fisk himself from the inside. Then, again, perhaps not if they’ve created a unique approach through her.

    Elektra does look right on in that split second that she puts Matt through the glass. And I have to say that the sectioned angularity pierce of the horns on the Daredevil mask is very well executed and they appear more convincing than previous renderings that, although had the proper drape, still looked kind of just tacked on for show.

    True, the mysticism is a tough one though. It really does need a lot of thought if it is to be done thoroughly for the proper effect. Where I saw some light was in the fine-line in contrast to religion, and the fact that norse mythology could, through the fact that one of it’s columns predicts a form of a “final conflict”, offer a stepping stone in where masters of the supernatural could intervene briefly if under stipulation of a line meant never to be crossed was indeed crossed by the opponents. Which is why Thor, as a god or demigod and also as an Avenger, is one coming to mind. A thunderbolt or two thrown could serve the multi-purpose in providing both a contrast in favor of our street-level heroes and also pave a bridge of compromise between these two themes (mystical/religious) and result in reinforcing the connection to the MCU. Ultimately, the meaning being that perhaps the answer lies not in total disengagement but rather a moderate, sublyme joining through brief Avengers appearances. Dr Strange was another in mind and no doubt his counter could greatly and invisibly contribute but, this one would take far more many heads than I possess to figure.

    (we orthodox have the seven major ‘Mystiria”, sacraments would be the transliteration if the catholic acknowledge something similar, as they must for I am sure most all religions do)

    If wishing to pull ahead then, hey, they should make the effort.

  7. geb

    As many views as I take, I can’t make out whether the woman entering through the door ahead of Danny’s actually Colleen or if it may be Elektra. But why would it be Elektra? I don’t think they’ve met yet, and her face isn’t as thin. It must be Coleen, makes sense since she’s the standout in Iron Fist. Claire’s here, and looks to not only to serve as medium but also for Luke. Shouldn’t Colleen be there for Danny, also adding much needed backbone helping his character stand to shine, perhaps work some magic putting him on a path for maturing. May also highlight that poor Matt’s all alone now.

  8. Nora

    Do you think the zombie kids from DD S2 will make an appearance? Or did they fulfill their role in donating their blood for Elektra’s resurrection?

  9. Daniel

    Really looking forward to this, should be good. I am hoping that they are going to wrap up all the Hand stuff this season though, so we can them move on to other storylines in later seasons of the various shows. I also hope that they address all the vague Hand plot points from DD S2. That was probably my biggest complaint about the second half of that season was the thin Hand plot. Maybe we can finally get true explanations as to what a Black Sky is and what the giant hole in the ground was for.

    Gotta love Sigourney Weaver! I was surprised that they were able to get someone like her to do a limited Netflix series but Im glad that they did. She just oozes badassness. I am assuming that she is the current host for the Beast, but since she is not a Black Sky she cannot fully access or maintain the power. Im guessing that they are going to try and transfer the Beast over to Elektra. Maybe that is what a Black Sky is, someone that can be a true host for the Beast? I am also assuming that the giant hole in the ground is going to be a foundation for a Shadowland type fortress that a Beast possessed Elektra will rule from. Kind of like an adaptation of Shadowland but with a possessed Elektra instead of a possessed Matt. I hope they make the first interaction with Elektra and Matt really good an emotional. Do you think they will follow the comic and have Matt “purify” Elektra’s soul at the end of the season?

    As always I am looking forward to more Scott Glenn as Stick! I hope they don’t kill him off during the show, he is hilarious. I would also enjoy seeing more of the Chaste.

    The interactions between the characters is going to be the high point of the show. Really looking forward to JJ’s smartass comments combining with Matt’s dry wit. As well as the foundations of the Heroes for Hire with Luke and Danny and the Daughters of the Dragon with Misty and Colleen. I hope they build on those connections going forward. And the revelation that the Rand corporation was indirectly responsible for Matt’s accident and maybe even Jessica’s could be very interesting. Also the characters individual arcs should progress as well. I think Matt will find his way back to being DD and maybe a more healthy balance between his two personas, and I think the producers have confirmed that the show will see Danny continue to grow and mature.

    As for the costumes. I am definitely one of the people that wants to see more of the DD costume. They really made it work in S2, despite what most people were thinking at the end of S1. But I think part of the story is going to be Matt coming back to being DD, so we probably wont see it until the last episode, or close to it. I also think that Danny could get an outfit as well. We saw, I am assuming that it was supposed to be Orson Randall, in the old footage that Bakuto had in full Iron Fist outfit and it looked awesome! So it can be done.

    I also hope that the action is good and well choreographed. It is going to have to be like the Avengers in that they are going to have to find something for everyone to do. It might be hard in a straight fight to justify needing the other characters, and not just have Luke take care of everybody. But I have faith that they will pull it off.

    All in all I have high hopes for the show. I just hope they can balance everything and move everyone’s individual arcs as well as the overarching continuity forward with only eight episodes. It might force them to get tighter with their pacing. But I am certainly looking forward to the ride.

  10. geb

    Many great insights here above.

    Their gear does seem to be evolving and taking a turn for the better, and Danny is one most challenging exercise for the designers. If any team can make it work well enough it’s these guys from DD (agreed, why bother if the colour aspect of the hero trope here is to be left in the gray zone.. there’s realism and care must be taken not to overdo but again, even the real world is in fact one of colour anyway, isn’t it?)

    And yes, the mysticism is a major component to be dealt with. We not only have the Hand still at large and in need for a resolution or at least for a ray of light to dawn upon but, now with Fist we may also have the Heavenly Cities aura swirling around the corner and then, in addition, the ever confounding Black Sky.

    That is a most pertinent point about the episode numbering. One would tend to agree about the outcome of a better pacing balance for all if done as suggested. One thing perhaps that may relax our concerns, if we wish to look on the bright side, is that if they are going to squeeze in resolutions for so many different themes: good vs evil, mystical, religious, social-economic both in white/black, interactive and individual arcs, etc.. then, heck man, this season at only eight episodes is no doubt going to be jam-packed action from the get-go, and therefore I think that we can count on the pacing staying in turbo-mode through the duration. May be just what we need to make it work.

    Two more major angles pointed to are the question of just who is behind Matt’s defence of Jessica (is Alexandra stirring it up indirectly?), and also the game plan involved in the confrontation between Matt and Elektra. These do feel key to the directorial path.

    Have a good feeling about this one.

  11. Daniel

    Also, The “secret funds” that Matt was living off of through college was probably the winnings that his father left him from his last match. Just before his fight Jack Murdock took all his money and put a bet on himself to win by knockout, then he put the winnings in Matt’s account. Since he was such a longshot to win it was probably a sizable amount of money.

  12. geb

    Well, Luke Cage was a very good series. The settings were well executed and along with everything in regards to setup and that appropriate music they really presented a correct Harlemesque atmosphere. The show, in my opinion, deserves all of the credit that it had been previously given.

    The castings were all right on. I have become really attached to the regulars and the crossovers. Mike Colter was perfectly convincing and I have grown even fonder of him than I had been from his portrayal in Jessica Jones. I, personally, wish that he had been considered for the ’18 Black Panther movie. Not to downplay the other actor for he looks good too, it’s just that I don’t know his ability yet. They were all in top form especially Misty, Riva, Shades and Claire.

    I guess I would rank this one almost even with JJ but above Iron Fist. I couldn’t figure out how Claire knew to take a stub from Colleen’s dojo from the ad on the street light post. Everything was well played though and set stuff up cleanly for the future.

  13. geb

    JPJ, the alltime best bagpipping (synthezizesd or what have you) ever concieved.

    And.. if… you…. feeeeeel…that you ca-ah-n’t.. go-oh on.
    And… your wheeeellll’sssssssinking low…
    Just… belieeeeve.. and you can’t, go wrong.
    In.. The.. Liiiight.. you will fiiind the road… you will find the road.

    Hey.. did you ever belieive that I could could leave you.. standing out out in the cold.


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