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Come Together: Bringing 'The Defenders' to Your Screen(s)

"You've got so many lovely stories that are interwoven that we were very carefully planting."8/08/2017 4:15 PM Eastern
Krysten Ritter, Finn Jones, Charlie Cox, Mike Colter in 'The Defenders.' Photo by Sarah Shatz/Netflix
Marvel's The Defenders brings an unprecedented television crossover event to Netflix, tying together four individual series--Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage--and their cast of characters.

Jeph Loeb, Marvel's head of television, explains, "We really set out to do something that had never been done in the history of television. From the very beginning, we started and committed to four separate television series, not knowing whether any of them would work.

"The idea was that at the end of completing all four of them, we would take all of our actors, not knowing if any of them would even be suitable for the roles, and put them together in a story where they would interact with each other and fight a common problem. That's an extraordinary journey."

Discussing her visual approach to the series, director S.J. Clarkson explains. "With nearly all of my projects, I put together a visual mood board, just to line up my thought processes. My combining of colors sounds like a comic book thing, but that wasn’t really the inspiration. I've tried to avoid making the Marvel shows look too much like a comic. The graphic novels have great imagery--I wound up reading all of the Jessica Jones books and found many quite inspiring--but [graphic novels] are a very two-dimensional medium.

Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter and Charlie Cox in 'The Defenders.' Photo by Jessica Miglio/Netflix.

"I wanted to give each character a distinct voice visually, and also respect who is leading each scene. It might be Luke, but is it Luke in Jessica’s world? Jessica had all these blues and steely grays, and Daredevil was all about the reds, while Luke is in brown hues and Iron Fist’s costume had some green. I thought the colors and the camera movement could be combined to help reveal their worlds and how they all interact. The palette is also a way to celebrate these characters coming together at last, which should be one of the elements that the fans will find most exciting."

Interview: S.J. Clarkson on The Defenders

Defenders Team on Challenges of Multi-Superhero Show

Marvel's The Defenders: How One Director Overcame the Challenge of Uniting Four Very Different Series 

"You've got so many lovely stories that are interwoven that we were very carefully planting," Loeb concludes. "One of the best things about being on Netflix is that you can watch Defenders, but then right afterwards if you want, you can go and watch Daredevil if you've never seen Daredevil, or Jessica Jones or Iron Fist or Luke Cage and the whole experience will be much richer because you will have gotten 60 hours of additional storytelling.

"These shows all have very different kinds of storytelling, in look and in drama and of course with the Marvel secret sauce of levity and humor. It’s quite an extraordinary achievement when you think about it. 60 hours is 30 movies."



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