'The Defenders' Will Assemble Soon

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

Just like the studio does with its movie slate, Marvel Television is forever working ahead. Beginning with Daredevil Season 1 in early 2015, the Netflix Marvel canon just keeps growing, with series continuations and spin-offs always in the works. While Marvel's Iron Fist is coming March 17 and will be the next Marvel series available to marathon, fans are already looking forward to the streaming service's big superhero team-up. The Defenders unites Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) for a single mission, all of whom will have led their own shows by that point. And I'm counting on villains and supporting characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage to show up as well. So when will The Defenders premiere on Netflix?

Netflix hasn't gotten too specific with the release date yet, though a teaser trailer that was first shown at San Diego Comic-Con last summer promises that The Defenders will be released in 2017. Other than a vague timeline, the promotional clip doesn't give much away at all. It references the members of this scruffy super-team through text rather than showing their faces. And the only voice heard in The Defenders teaser belongs to Stick, Matt's morally dubious trainer from Daredevil. "You think the four of you can save New York?" he asks. "You can't even save yourselves." Between that tagline and the Nirvana soundtrack, it certainly seems as if The Defenders will have the same brooding quality as the four solo showcases it follows.

The Defenders is still filming in New York City as of mid-March. In fact, after some recent controversy about the casting of Jones — who is white — as martial artist Danny Rand, the actor took a break from Twitter. He told Deadline that he deleted his social media "to stay focused on bringing to life this character without judgment" during the shoot.

Entertainment Weekly was there in January when The Defenders filmed their first scene all together. Showrunner Marco Ramirez said the four-way, face-to-face meeting was deliberately set up to throw the characters — all loners in one way or another — off-balance. “We wanted them all caught off guard," Ramirez explained. "Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, s***, who are you?'"

In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ramirez described complicated process of writing a show that happens chronologically after all the other Marvel Netflix shows, even though not all of them had aired at the time they were breaking the stories. The Defenders team had to soak up information from all the other series in any form in which it was available, whether that was a finished script or just a headshot of a character who'd just been cast. "It felt like we were making dessert while someone else was cooking dinner, and we were all in the same kitchen at the same time. The chicken isn’t even ready yet, and we’re already making the chocolate cake," Ramirez laughed. "That’s a bad metaphor."

That dessert will be served in the form of Defenders Season 1 sometime this year. One con of being a Marvel fan is that you're always waiting. But the corresponding pro is that there's always something to look forward to.