Defenders at SDCC and the new trailer!

Hey guys! I hope all is well with you. Well, it’s been a pretty exciting weekend with a new trailer for The Defenders, the panel at San Diego Comic Con and even a couple of clips. Not to mention a truckload of cast interviews, and reactions from people who got to see the first episode when it was shown at the panel.

We’re now also beginning to see reviews for the first four episodes after they’ve been released to select news sites.Brett White’s for Decider.com is free of spoilers and covers the first four episodes. An here’s an equally spoiler-free review of the first episode, by Rhiannon at the MCU Exchange. That site is also collecting links and quotes from other reviews, if you’re interested.

When it comes to the actual panel… there’s really not all that much to say. I’m sure many of you have seen it for yourselves already (you can watch it in the embedded video below if you haven’t), but for those of us watching from home – and thus not being able to see the first episode – it didn’t really add much in terms of news. Jeph Loeb spends too much time on a lengthy introduction and then each person on stage has time for one short brief statement. It’s still great to see all these actors on stage though.

What we did learn from the panel was that there’s going to be a second season of Iron Fist. Given that reviewers have mostly been kind to how the first four episodes of The Defenders handle the character, I think there’s good reason to be hopeful that his characterization – what I considered the biggest weak spot of his first outing – will fare better in a second season.

Showrunner Marco Ramirez described the show as “probably the most challenging writing assignment I’ve had in my life.” It’s clear that much time and energy has been spent balancing the characters against each other and making them all fit. We learned from Elodie Yung, who plays Elektra, that her character has amnesia after being raised from the dead, and is being trained by Alexandra to be a weapon (we get a better glimpse of their interplay in the new trailer). Deborah Ann Woll, who plays Karen, was also on stage and shared some of the challenges of shooting more than one show at the same time, as she also appears in The Punisher.

The second trailer adds a little more context to some of the scenes we saw in the first trailer. We get to see the relationship between Elektra and Alexandra, and we also see Matt following (stalking?) Jessica, which I found interesting since I always expected the roles between the two of them to be reversed. There’s also more glimpses of the many supporting characters from the four different shows, and many more moments of character interaction. People who’ve been longing for the Daredevil costume should find more to like in this trailer, and there’s also quite a bit of humor here that I’m a big fan of.

When characters are trying to be funny in the wrong places, the effects can be pretty jarring, but humor that follows naturally from genuine and lifelike relationships is definitely something I enjoy to see on screen, and it echoes the dynamics of my own friendships. One of my favorit little moments of this trailer is actually an obviously hung-over Jessica wrestling with a set of elevator doors while holding a cup of coffee. There’s also a great moment in the Chinese restaurant where Matt’s making sensible use of his senses. And we all know that I’m a big fan of that.

Have a look at all the videos I’ve mentioned (and more) below. What did you guys think of the trailer and what are your hopes and fears for this show? Let the rest of us know in the comments!

Videos

Trailer #2 (the one released on Friday)

The full Defenders panel at SDCC

Cast interview with Entertainment Tonight

Bleeding Cool interview with Charlie Cox

Clip from episode one, featuring Madame Gao and Alexandra

Clip from episode one, featuring Matt Murdock in confession (posted on Twitter)

For the best source of Daredevil/Defenders news around the Internet, I happily refer you to the news section at ManWithoutFear.com. Kuljit always has you covered. πŸ˜‰

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

13 comments

  1. Hello again, and glad to hear you’ve been well. Wow, this is great that you gathered all of this stuff together here all nice and organized and easy. Thank you very much,

    I truly believe that showrunner about this being the absolute in diffcult writes.

    Yes, I had been wanting to write some thoughts about some stuff after numerous rewatching of all 5 of the shows, like it’s kind of funny that I found myself reviewing Iron Fist most, by far.

    From the cliffhanger we were left with, wondering wether Joy was indeed entertaining eliminating Danny through Davos and the disappearance of K’un Lun there was no other way around it but to include a 2nd season, at least.

    After the many rewatches I just naturally garnered more respect for what the creative teams, particularly for Fist, were trying to do. Like subbing The Hand (a far more unique concept) for Hydra, something more out of need to fullfill all angles most likely, and the creation of Alexandria creating a different axis for new and old, canonical bodies to orbit about.

    It is a very painstaking task making all of the pieces finnaly fit and a big bravo to all involved. We most definetly will be seeing more Defenders seasons, esp with this one at only 8.

    Geesh, Ritter can really gobble a Lite beer. Thanks again

  2. Hooray, she’s back!

    Somebody put a mask on that Rand kid, already.

  3. Huzzah!
    Welcome back!

    Most everything for the Defenders looks great to me. It so much fun getting excited again for more live action Daredevil.

    I like how for the last few moths I’ve seen fans having fits crying “Why isn’t Daredevil in his costume! The show runners hate costumes! Its all ruined if Matt doesn’t have his costume!” And of course here we are and there Daredevil is in full costume as any rational person saw coming.

    I have a few reservations to temper my expectations though of the series, but I will be happy to be proven wrong.

    Semi-spolier territory, so stop reading anyone who wants to remain unspoiled.

    So early reviews are saying The Defenders starts off at least focusing heavily on Iron Fist. That’s a little disconcerting as Finn is the weakest actor in the whole cast, and I’m including the supporting cast in that. I was going in to this already assuming the heavy lifting would have to be done by Cox, Ritter, and Colter but putting the focus on Finn for any length of time is just a mistake. Hopefully the rest of the cast will help bring him up to their level, kinda like they did with Foggy in Daredevil.

    Also, reviews are saying that the four don’t actually meet up until the 4th episode, and thats disconcerting as well. One of the big flaws of both Fist and Cage was the illogical plotting that went out of its way to avoid introducing these characters to each other even though it made total sense to. Now we only get four full episodes of them together after all this waiting?

    1. @Tate –SPOILERS–

      Yeah, I’ve heard that all four get together at the end of episode three. I also heard that none of them meet in the first episode (except maybe at the very end, I got the feeling that the scene where Matt introduces himself as Jessica’s lawyer is tone of the very last scenes of the first episode). It looks as if they’re doing it in steps, with Matt and Jessica pairing up with Luke and Danny doing the same. I too see some risks with this, but I trust that the show runners are doing this for a more organic feel to the story. As for Danny, many of the reviewers seem to think that this show at least does a good job of rehabilitating the character, and I actually read one review (can’t remember which one) that mentioned that Matt gets a lot of screen time. Maybe Danny scenes just feel longer? πŸ˜‰

      Either way, I’m glad to hear that the character interactions are at least enjoyable, as I don’t expect much logic from the actual story. I can’t wait for a season three of DD with the Hand stuff finally behind us (hopefully). I’m still cautiously optimistic about Defenders though.

  4. I’m eagerly awaiting this series, and while I’m enjoying the clips and trailers I find I enjoy them more with fewer spoilers.

  5. Spoilers

    @Christine

    The one review I read that went into any detail said episode 4, but maybe and hopefully they just had it wrong or it was a typo meant to say episode 3. πŸ™‚

  6. Hey, know what? If Rand is to be recomposed and cleansed of any and all troubling character traites and advance and integrate his development then, if we look at it as a sort of a reverse strategy, it may make a lot of sense and give the most affect if he is dealt with from the get go. Weeding through the previous problems concerning Danny from the very beginning may be the best (only?) way to ensure him a clean slate, and for the remainder of the series.

    Sort of like positioning him as the first spike and using the heaviest sledge with a real bang or three to ensure his direction and by symptomsy the direction of the complete railway. Although, granted, this would entail the wittiest of pre-plotting which, perhaps, is what Ramirez was hinting at when citing the extreme difficulty involved with this scripting. Just a thought that may ease our minds.

  7. I just noticed your tweets at the bottom, and judging from his statement I cannot believe that Cox is still, um to be kind, shall we saw borderline regarding his view concerning this most critical aspect of Murdock’s persona. I think most all of us here share your concern and frustration on this one most major point.

    Oh heck yes, if you can Chris, please find a way to at least guide him to this site for a crash tutoring course. If through a letter to Marvel, or even a pidgeon carrying a note in Braille to Charlie personally. Whatever it takes, it may even not be too late for him to undergo a last minute realighnment before The Defenders begin but, most definetly before S3 of MWF.

  8. I definitely think that the character interactions are going to be the highlight of the show. The shortened timeframe of only eight episodes is a little worrisome, but I am hoping they get on the ball fast and still make everything flow organically. I like that there is genuine humor and comradery between the Defenders. I hope to really fall in love with this grouping. And I am hoping that this series leads to more interaction and connection in the four shows down the line. The casual cameo for Matt in JJ or Iron Fist could be fun and appropriate, and it would alleviate some of the problems that arose around Claire’s character as well by not having her be the only connective tissue that ties the shows together.

    I am looking forward to seeing Danny continue to grow as a character. I think he might be the one to hold the team together and convince the others to work together. The younger brother that kind of serves as the heart of the team. Although in the trailer it looks like Danny might run in head strong into the Hand’s forces and gets overwhelmed and it the other Defenders that come and bail him out.

    I am really looking forward to Scott Glenn’s Stick being the old general marshaling his troops against the Hand. Does anyone else have a bad feeling that they are going to kill off Stick in this show? I really hope not. I really love his character! And the interaction between Glenn and Weaver is going to be great! It will probably never happen, but I would love for Stick to meet up with Frank Castle. I think they would have a blast with each other!

    Also I found it very interesting that Madam Gao is coming back and apparently sizing herself up against Alexandra. That rivalry could be very interesting indeed!!! It was also nice to see Collen get some more screen time, apparently going up against Bakuto again. Her fight scenes were a highlight from the Iron Fist series.

    It looked like there might be some kind of mind control going on in one scene with Alexandra making the Defenders turn on each other? Do you think Elektra might have enhanced powers in the show? Maybe from the Beast? It looks like she is a lot stronger now then before she died.

    And yeah, it’s nice to see more of the Daredevil costume.

  9. Yes, Daniels is right about the 8 episode being somewhat worrisome. At the same time though, we have heard Ramirez stating that he gave it his all. Hmm? Quite puzzling indeed. On the one hand there’s the span in which so much needs to be addressed and on the other, we are all well aware of this showrunner’s capability, having been proven to be the man for the job. Something tells me trusting him may not be in vain and that he did indeed work a miracle considering the 8 episode limit.

    I agree the relationships seem to be at a chemical high. I keep thinking of Ritter’s “nice ears” comment and can’t help laughing every time. I mean, can you imagine? If there’s one misinterpretation or pun that MWF has to continually rectify or suck-up the most, it has to be this one here, “they’re.. horns”, and I think I detect a slight blush. It’s a central crack up and so in line with the character.

    Yes, true too that Claire has been wound up like an endless musical box concerning the bringing together thing, and it has taken it’s toll on her character’s relavance, although slight yet still noticable. I’m confident that when Luke encounters Danny Claire will somehow play a more versatile role in Dan’s development.

    I recall becoming more aware of Glen’s acting capacity in the movie with McDonald about climbing the Everest. It hit me when he was torn between killing his wifes murderer while hanging together with him on the rope, and he did what McDonald’s dad had done and sliced the chord in sacrifice. Blew me away. Alexandra vs Stick will probably be the conflict of the quarter (century), and I feel that if they make The Chaste a presence then most likely Stick’ll stick around for at least a further season (and oh yeah, there’s still Castle to exploit so, hey).

    Gao and Alexandra? I got a slight feeling of subservience on Gao’s part but, then again there seemed to be quite a few various faction involved and who’s representing who is still vague. But did’nt Gao in Fist, mention “one far. far more ruthless than I”?.

    I too, am even more head over heels in love with Henwick’s Colleen. Really looking forward to her especially. Bakuto again, and perhaps she may more than likely will have a showdown with Elektra, which should prove awesome.

    I noticed that Matt’s mask has the nose guard extending fully down. Not sure.. too Batmanish? Batman’s is usually an M configuration while Matt’s seems straight across, may be a bit too plain-jane. Affleck’s curved, ninja inspired semi-mask may have had more thematic presence while still lower profile. Oh well, no biggie.

    Yes the logic of a story involving so many both real and mystical (and who knows what else) elements most probably will have very, very wide margins for an anything goes game arena. Who knows though, it may make up for it through outright illogical comedy for what it may lack from a sensibility angle. We can only wait to see if it could be fun either way.

    Take care all.

  10. Oh, just noticed that Bernthal IS in the Cast, so perhaps Castle and Stick may have some slapstick time after all. That WOULD be a great highlight.

  11. @geb- Is it official that Bernthal is showing up in Defenders? I hadn’t heard that. It would be really cool if Frank and Stick can cross paths!

  12. Sorry guy’s, was having this $#+less hardrive repaired for the umphteen time.

    @Daniel- There are sites like IMDB that make no mention, and then there are some like digitalspy that say “Meanwhile, it appears that Bernthal’s Punisher may make an appearance, if the teaser is anything to go by”. Again, wikipedia lists him as a guest and when asked about why Punisher is not an actual member, Loeb said that “it’s becase, like in the comics, Frank’s best working alone”.

    So it seems that there is a pretty good chance of him making an appearance and, it kinda makes sense with this type of heavy threat that they all most likely will at one point require Frank’s BLAM BLAM BLAM, and I’m just guessing but it most likely would happen when the “Chief” (Stick) is down and just about out.

    Here’s to hoping and countingdown. It would really pull out all the plugs.

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