While the future of Marvel’s The Defenders seems bleak — sites like comicbook.com have noted its Facebook page has been scrubbed clean of Defenders content — Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb suggests there is a way forward with the concept.
As Loeb explained it to Entertainment Weekly, “all we’ve ever said is that there are no plans right now … It doesn’t mean that it’s off the table.” But perhaps the most important aspect of his response to EW’s question about the show is this: “it doesn’t mean that it even has to be with the original characters that were in the first Defenders.”
That notion is far more exciting than getting the band back together.
The first Defenders season was announced way in advance of its release last year. Like the first Avengers film, it was meant to be a great climax to an experiment in launching four separate television shows and bringing their lead characters together. According to Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter, it was always sold to them as a one-off thing while their individual series were meant to continue. The relative quality of the eventual Defenders show, billed as miniseries once it inched closer to reality, may have curtailed any thoughts that it might become an annual or even bi-annual occurrence.
Nonetheless, Leob’s suggestion of a new Defenders team creates interesting options with characters like Misty Knight (Simone Missick), Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) and a revived Elektra (Elodie Yung) uniting as all-female Defenders. Another concept could see Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) learning to play nice with others. Of course, if those others include characters like Moon Knight, it could be a very difficult team-building exercise.
But all of this is even assuming a team-up show requires four major characters or even the Defenders name. As Loeb noted later in the interview, he is constantly asked about Heroes for Hire and Daughters of the Dragon spinoffs. Considering how well those pairings work on the page and on screen, either might be the better choice than another Defenders season in the immediate future.