Marvel’s ‘Defenders’ cast talks team dynamics and Sigourney Weaver’s mysterious villain

Defenders has to bring together four protagonists from their own TV shows and exist within the history and laws of each. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock in Daredevil), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Danny Rand in Iron Fist) star in the Netflix show about the superhero posse and were on hand at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. Sigourney Weaver, who plays Alexandra, is a powerful figure who takes an interest in the quatro.

During a press roundtable, Cox, Colter, Jones, Weaver, Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing in Iron Fist), Elodie Yung (Elektra in Daredevil), and showrunner Marco Rodriguez spoke to reporters about the first season of Defenders.

Warning: Spoilers for Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil below.

Sigourney Weaver is no stranger to playing someone you don’t want to mess with. (“I have a red belt in karate,” she said.) In Defenders, Alexandra wears a lot of white because she’s “someone who doesn’t get their hands dirty,” said Weaver. “I think she has a number of, frankly, ninjas who will protect her.”

Is all that protection a sign she’s up to something nefarious? The mysterious Alexandra is a patron of the arts, a New Yorker who loves her city. “She’s not this clear-cut villain,” said Jones. Yet she’s definitely interested in getting the Defenders to work for her.

“I think she would actually love to mentor all the four heroes,” said Weaver. “Unfortunately, they have this pesky tendency to be idealistic.”

In case you haven’t heard, death can’t stop Elektra. But when she returns, Yung said it’s like she has amnesia. “She comes back as a new person,” she said but adds we’ll see her evolve throughout the season. Weaver teases Elektra is “full of surprises.” The reemergence has an effect on Matt, especially given the devastation he felt over her death.

“In some ways, he’s so smart and level-headed and in other ways, when he gets emotional, he’s like a child,” said Cox.

“We’ve got four characters now who have no interest in being part of a team,” said Cox. Willing or no, Defenders creates all sorts of new relationships by throwing familiar characters together, including with Jessica and Matt. Neither particularly cares if the other likes them, said Cox. “They don’t have time for one another,” he explained. But that doesn’t mean they stay out of each other’s way. “I love their dynamic,” said Ramirez of the antagonism between the two. After all, they have a lot of time together as Luke and Danny become best buds.

In the first trailer, the pair don’t take instantly to each other. In fact, they start brawling pretty quickly.

“Luckily, Marco wrote some incredible scenes between us and really got to the nitty gritty of why these two eventually become best friends,” said Jones.

Some of that involves Luke schooling Danny.

“Luke has the advantage of years,” said Colter. “He’s got some miles. He’s got some experience.”

It may be part of the reason why Henwick says of Danny, “By end of Defenders, he’s a whole different character.” With a bit of guidance, Cox said Iron Fist learns to use his power “in a lot more intelligent ways than just flashing some cash around and going and punching stuff.”

Defenders debuts August 18 on Netflix.