Marvel’s The Defenders drops today on Netflix. It delivers the kind of late-summer event thrills fans anticipated since Netflix announced all Marvel projects. The series combines the talents of Mike Coulter (Luke Cage), Finn Jones (Danny Rand), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), and Charlie Cox (Daredevil) as the Defenders. They team up to prevent the mysterious Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) from destroying New York City.
As the longest-running Marvel Netflix cast member, Charlie Cox continues Matt Murdock/Daredevil’s journey as he recuperates from the disastrous events of Daredevil 2. Finally working against the marquee names of the Netflix Marvel universe, Cox thrives in the role, particularly against Ritter’s lethally sarcastic Jones.
Here, I talk to Charlie Cox about his experience moving into a team-based project like The Defenders, and the emotional heft as Matt Murdock faces a ghost from the past.
I guess it does. The difference about The Defenders, because of the four individual characters, we spend less time with those characters as they are experiencing the feelings around what they’ve done and who they are. I think one of the things that’s made the Marvel Netflix shows popular is because we get to see the superheroes being bad ass and fighting crime, but we also get to see them go home and feel shame and guilt or frustration. All of those things we equate with everyday people.
This show has less time for that. It’s more plot-heavy. So, I think that’s why The Defenders is kind of a celebration of the four shows. The fun thing about this show is that we get to see these characters… former lone wolves… try to be friends. My favorite scenes are the ones where we come together and try to figure out who we are.
The end of Daredevil 2 is kind of a massive failure. People he loved died. He didn’t have a single relationship left to speak about. He was completely alone, and I think, more than anything, he is riddled with the guilt with the idea that what he’d been doing was more of a detriment to society than actually doing good. I think he’s a bit of a broken man really. What I personally love about Matt is that giving up is easier said than done. He will find any excuse in order to re-engage. That’s what he does at the first sign of anything. He’s back on the rooftop ready to pounce. The Defenders takes place over the course of a week. It’s an isolated series of events. So, I think when we come back to Daredevil Season 3, we will eventually revisit a man who’s still deeply conflicted.
That’s an interesting one because Elektra to him is dead. When Elektra seems to show up, he knows in his heart that can’t be true, but if it was somehow true, it would alleviate so much of his pain and his guilt. He almost allows himself to be deluded to the degree where it might be the Elektra he remembers. He makes poor judgement calls based on that philosophy. Not only does he hide all this information from his teammates and new-found friends, but he also allows himself to be deluded in ways we haven’t seen before.
It was working with the others, man. It really was. I think my favorite episode is Episode 4 where it’s the first time we’re trying to figure out who we are. It’s also got the humor where we’re able to see how ridiculous this is at times. It has Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) making fun of us. It has that levity, but hopefully by that point, you realize that the stakes are high and something very sinister is happening. It’s not just fun. There’s also enough drama there to keep you interested. It’s the relationships between these four characters.
I can’t say enough good things about her. I’d love to sign on to do a TV show with just me and her in a heartbeat.
Let’s do it.
Marvel’s The Defenders streams now on Netflix.