dE­FEnd­ERs as­sEm­blE!

What next for Marvel’s Netflix he­roes?

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Marvel On TV - Nick Setch­field

Two bruis­ingly bril­liant sea­sons of Dare­devil and an equally ac­claimed de­but for Jes­sica Jones have es­tab­lished Netflix as the street-level fron­tier of Marvel’s screen uni­verse. But that’s only the tip of the stream­ing gi­ant’s su­per­heroic am­bi­tions…

Next out of the gates is Luke Cage, ar­riv­ing for your binge-watch­ing plea­sure in late Septem­ber. A solo show­case for Mike Colter, who co-starred as the bul­let­proof bar­man in

Jes­sica Jones, it shifts the New York ac­tion from Hell’s Kitchen to Har­lem, pitch­ing Cage against the up­town un­der­world. Showrun­ner Cheo Ho­dari Hoker prom­ises “The Wire of Marvel tele­vi­sion,” in­formed by a ’90s hip-hop vibe and some so­cially con­scious script­ing.

That’s fol­lowed in early 2017 by Iron Fist, star­ring Game Of Thrones’s Finn Jones as Danny Rand, the heir to a busi­ness em­pire who re­turns to re­claim his birthright af­ter a decade of mar­tial arts train­ing in the fa­bled Ti­betan city of K’un-Lun. David Wen­ham is an­tag­o­nist Harold Meachum, the ruth­less busi­ness­man now run­ning Rand En­ter­prises. The show’s en­sem­ble in­cludes 90210’s Jes­sica Stroup and

Ban­shee’s Tom Pelphrey as Meachum’s kids while Jes­sica Hen­wick plays ur­ban samu­rai Colleen Wing, one half of the deadly Daugh­ters of the Dragon with Misty Knight (who we’ll see in Luke Cage, played by Si­mone Mis­sick).

If the show hon­ours the comics then there’ll be a strong mys­ti­cal el­e­ment mixed in with the trade­mark Netflix grit. Iron Fist has the power to sum­mon the oc­cult en­ergy known as chi, man­i­fest­ing it as a flam­ing aura around his fightin’ hand. And star Finn Jones has cer­tainly gone deep with the prep: his daily rou­tine in­cluded two and a half hours of kung fu, wushu and tai-chi, fol­lowed by weight train­ing, med­i­ta­tion classes and Bud­dhist study. Ded­i­ca­tion, brother. The show’s film­ing now in New York.

It’s all build­ing to The De­fend­ers, unit­ing the Netflix he­roes against the great­est threat to the city yet, be­yond King­pin, be­yond Kill­grave, be­yond the Hand... Star Char­lie Cox says it’s Matt Mur­dock who as­sem­bles th­ese in­ner city Avengers, aware he can­not go it alone af­ter the events of Dare­devil sea­son two. That sea­son’s showrun­ners – Dou­glas Petrie and Marco Ramirez – are over­see­ing this show too, with Drew God­dard on­board as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. Ex­pect it mid-late 2017.

Post-De­fend­ers we’re promised a sec­ond sea­son of Jes­sica Jones, showrun by True Blood’s Raelle Tucker. And with a Pu­n­isher TV se­ries showrun by Han­ni­bal’s Steve Light­foot – and whis­pers of a Moon Knight show in the wings – Marvel’s Netflix em­pire will soon ri­val the big screen for to­tal su­per­hero meltdown…

Dare­devil will re­turn – but in a dif­fer­ent show.

Mike Colter is your hero for hire. Ex­pect a two-year wait for new Jes­sica Jones.

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