The show will bring together New York-dwelling crime fighters Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) for an ultimate showdown against Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra and criminal empire The Hand.
Along with the major players, a handful of supporting members from the original series are scheduled to pop up across the show’s eight-episode run, along with a couple of new faces.
Find out all you need to know about the cast below.
*Spoilers for Jessica Jones season 1, Luke Cage season 1, Daredevil seasons 1 & 2 and Iron Fist season 1 to follow*
Jessica Jones – Krysten Ritter
Who does she play? Jones is a former superhero handicapped by post-traumatic stress disorder. In the first season of her solo show she set up shop as a private investigator, hopped into bed with her fellow Defender Luke Cage, and took down particularly creepy villain Kilgrave (played by David Tennant), who used mind control to make victims do his bidding.
Luke Cage – Mike Colter
Who does he play? Harlem-dwelling Cage has super-human strength and unbreakable skin, but his heart is far from impenetrable. After a torrid fling with Jessica Jones, the ex-con moved on to Misty Knight, an NYPD detective, before ultimately confessing his feelings for Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple. At the end of season 1, he was being carted back to Seagate prison, but Claire promised that she would help him out – she knows a good lawyer. Spoiler alert: It’s Daredevil.
Where have I seen him before? Colter is best known for roles in Clint Eastwood’s boxing drama Million Dollar Baby and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.
Matt Murdock (Daredevil) – Charlie Cox
Who does he play? Blind, crime-fighting lawyer Daredevil is the most canonically advanced of the Netflix superheroes, with a full two seasons under his belt. During the show’s run he came up against criminal organisation The Hand, who, at the end of season 2, had recovered the body of his recently slain girlfriend Elektra.
Where have I seen him before? Keen-eyed viewers may have caught his small role in The Theory of Everything alongside Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, but his stint as Owen Sleater in Boardwalk Empire will ring more bells.
Danny Rand (Iron Fist) – Finn Jones
Who does he play? Rand is an orphaned trust-fund baby. When his parents died in a plane crash, he was taken in by monks who turned him into a fighting master of kung-fu with a direct line to the mystical power of the Iron Fist, rendering him capable of blasting holes through walls. He has also had a few run-ins with The Hand, who are seemingly out to take over the world.
Where have I seen him before? Probably on Game of Thrones. He played Loras Tyrell.
Alexandra – Sigourney Weaver
Who does she play? The big bad – an ancient power with ties to The Hand.
Where have I seen her before? Weaver is a sci-fi legend, with starring roles in 3D trendsetter Avatar and Ridley Scott’s Alien series.
Claire Temple – Rosario Dawson
Who does she play? In the absence of a figure akin to Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury from the Avengers series, Rosario Dawson’s heroic nurse is the link between the Defenders.
Where have I seen her before? Dawson has had major roles in Seven Pounds, comic book noir drama Sin City and Chris Rock’s underrated comedy Top Five.
Elektra Natchios – Elodie Yung
Who does she play? Daredevil’s mysterious girlfriend, who was murdered at the end of Daredevil season 2, only to be reincarnated by The Hand as some sort of evildoing puppet.
Where have I seen her before? Gerard Butler vehicle Gods of Egypt, or perhaps David Fincher’s take on Stieg Larson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Foggy Nelson – Elden Henson
Who does he play? Daredevil’s best friend and business partner.
Where have I seen him before? Henson played Pollux in the final two installments of The Hunger Games films.
Misty Knight – Simone Missick
Who does she play? A dogged and determined Harlem police officer.
Where have I seen her before? Along with Luke Cage, Missick has popped up in shows including Ray Donovan, Scandal and Wayward Pines.
Colleen Wing – Jessica Henwick
Who does she play? A one-time ally to Iron Fist who was revealed to be a loyal soldier of The Hand.
Where have I seen her before? She has had starring roles in two other legendary, sprawling franchises: Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones.
Stick – Scott Glenn
Who does he play? Daredevil’s mentor – a blind and mysterious martial arts master.
Where have I seen him before? Glenn has an illustrious screen history behind him, including roles in The Bourne Ultimatum, Silence of the Lambs and Training Day.
Marvel’s The Defenders will be released on Netflix on Friday 18th August