When The Defenders hit Netflix in August, they'll come in swinging. At Comic-Con International in San Diego, stars Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Iron Fist) discussed the show's fight choreography and how it presented a different challenge here as opposed to their solo series.
"I think probably the hardest thing is the choreography of the fight scenes," Cox recalled. "In DD, most times it's me verses collected bad guys. Of course, in The Defenders, we team up and the shooting of that is immensely complicated because when I film a scene with a bunch of bad guys, I only have to really worry about my face being shown and making sure it's in the scenes, whereas -- in this show -- if we're doing a fight scene and I'm over here fighting and Krysten [Ritter]'s there and Luke [Cage]'s there, the camera sees those guys -- all three of us! We're not the professionals. We have to all be perfect at the same time. That is time consuming and complicated, but a great challenge."
Jones, on the other hand, felt as though the ensemble nature of the show afforded more time to practice. "That's the great thing about Defenders. Because it was an ensemble piece, there was more room in our schedules, and that meant there was room to rest but there was also room to actually spend more time on learning the choreography and planning it out," he shared. "We had a lot of really good time to rehearse that and plan it out and I think it shows."
"The disadvantage that we have on television is that we're working on a tighter schedule," added Colter. "I mean, by the time everything is approved, by the time the fight scenes are actually up and ready for us to see and rehearse, we have a day or two."
"Or 15 minutes!" Jones said with a laugh.
"Yeah! Ultimately, we go on set and they change it. 'Remember that fight you learned? Okay, it's kind of the same, but not.' And this is muscle memory! It's like a dance step. You've got it kind of sort of worked out, and now… You only get punched in the face, and you've got to shoot it. You've got like two hours to do it at night," Colter continued.
"You do! You're doing it at like 3 am at night," Jones explained.
"Literally! You start fighting at 2 am! Who wants to fight at 2 am?" Colter pitched in.
"So it was nice being part of an ensemble, because it gave more time," Jones concluded.
According to executive producer Marco Ramirez, the fight choreography was another way to explore each character's personality. "Another element that became more interesting as we went along was also the way they fight alongside each other or with each other also feels really rooted in character, and so that was really exciting for the stunt choreographer, for the directors. They were like, 'Oh wow, Luke has never really fought someone like Danny or alongside Danny!' That stuff has never happened before, so my other love was that as well."
As to which Defender would win in a fight, he had a quick and definitive answer: "Jessica Jones."
Arriving August 18 on Netflix, the eight-episode Defenders miniseries stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, Finn Jones as Danny Rand, Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios, Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra.