Marvel franchises have become some of the hottest properties in Hollywood and streaming television, and Netflix has positioned itself perfectly to capitalize on that popularity. Netflix is already home to the original Marvel series Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, while several other Marvel series are in the works. Netflix announced a new Punisher series will debut sometime in 2017 and will star The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal as the gun-toting, vengeance-seeking anti-hero Frank Castle. While The Punisher has yet to be assigned a release date, the premier date of Netflix’s upcoming highly anticipated Marvel series The Defenders has just been cryptically announced in a mysterious new teaser trailer:
In the teaser, security camera footage shows Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) all descend silently in an elevator until Ritter’s Jessica Jones sees the security camera. She promptly jumps up and disables the camera, which stops filming as its timestamp reaches 08:18:20:17. Fans immediately speculated that this might hint at an August 18, 2017 release date.
That speculation is further confirmed by the mysterious numbers 18.104.22.168 in the upper-left corner of the trailer. Many fans believed these were an IP address and, sure enough, a web page loads if these numbers are entered into a web browser. The address redirects to the homepage of the fictional New York Bulletin, the newspaper that ties all four Netflix Marvel series together. A banner at the bottom of the page reads “Watch “Marvel’s The Defenders” All Episodes Streaming Only on Netflix August 18.”
The Defenders is based on the Marvel comic series of the same name which first debuted in 1971. The series centered around a rotating cast of superheroes who band together to face supernatural, mystical, and intergalactic threats. While the original incarnation featured such Marvel stalwarts as The Incredible Hulk and Doctor Strange, this new incarnation will see Netflix’s existing Marvel heroes joining forces to defeat the forces of evil. Sigourney Weaver has signed on to play a mysterious villain named Alexandra, while recurring series-bridging co-stars Rosario Dawson and Carrie-Anne Moss will return to reprise their supporting roles. Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson is slated to direct the first two episodes in the eight-episode first season.