With shooting on Daredevil well underway, all eyes turn to the rest of the proposed line-up of Netflix series based on Marvel characters. When will Luke Cage start shooting? Iron Fist? And who will be taking point behind the scenes on the epic team-up mini-series The Defenders? Good questions, and a high level executive at Netflix is offering some answers. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, in a recent interview, shared some info about going darker, who’s being cast right now, and in what way The Defenders will be following The Avengers model.
While talking to Empire Magazine, Sarandos discussed a couple of different aspects to the production of these Netflix series. First of all, he re-inforced that the all four series – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and AKA: Jessica Jones, were all leading into a Defenders series that would bring them all together, united against a common threat. Guess what model they’re working off of…
“It was really based on the theatrical model of The Avengers,” said Sarandos. “Could you take another group of characters, The Defenders, and go about it the same way? Normally they do the big movie and then eventually they get to the group origin story. Having 13 hours to tell each of these stories, you can go right to the origin story and the action at the same time.”
Of course, if there’s one way in which the Netflix series will distinguish themselves from The Avengers series of films, it’s scale. These are street level heroes, with street level concerns, and that means that the producers can go a little darker than your average Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
“The series will not be afraid to go darker than the film did,” Sarandos explained. “What we love about this particular set of heroes is that they’re a little more down to Earth. Costume wise and also in that these are gritty crime stories, more in the streets than in the clouds.”
Now the big part, when will the next series go into development, and which hero will next be given a real life face to portray them? Sarando offered some insight.
“Right now, the writers’ rooms are open and they’re looking at casting Jessica,” he revealed. “If you sense some hesitation in my voice, that’s classic Marvel fashion. They like to keep that veil of secrecy. But Daredevil is already shooting, since that’s out first. Eventually the series will run very close together. You can then have a separate season where the characters will cross over.”
As for seeing Daredevil in The Avengers, or seeing Captain America team-up with Iron First on film, Sarando played coy. “It has definitely been talked about,” he said.
Not to throw cold water on “the plan,” I hope that Marvel isn’t so enraptured with the big picture with these shows that they lose any of their dramatic punch. So much of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in its first season was wasted in the build-up to the fallout of The Winter Soldier, that the show felt like it was spinning its tires most weeks, and not really concerned with building dramatic momentum. It also felt like they were gun shy about introducing people and concepts from the Marvel Universe because they were unsure what Marvel might want to use in future movies or series.
That does seem to be changing though. We already know that The Absorbing Man and Mockingbird are both showing up in season 2 of S.H.I.E.L.D., plus the show will be free from movie crossover potential until next May when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters, so the show may shine when forced to act a little more independently. If there’s one reason that Arrow has been more successful than S.H.I.E.L.D. in terms of building momentum, its because Arrow has been allowed to grow organically and use characters as needed. Hopefully, Marvel’s experience has taught them to allow as much for spontaneity as for following the plan.
Source: Comic Book Movie