As part of Empire's packed new issue, we have a great TV preview focusing on upcoming series including Gotham, The Flash and Star Wars Rebels. And, of course, we spoke to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos about the heavily anticipated series, or series-of-series, that Marvel is producing for the streaming service featuring Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil.
Talking about the plan for the characters – who will debut separately in their own series before coming together for a big miniseries under the Defenders banner – the idea mirrors how Kevin Feige and co. tackled their big screen brethren.
"It was really based on the theatrical model of The Avengers," says 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."
Shooting on Daredevil, of course is already underway in New York, with Charlie Cox as main man Matt Murdock, True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Rosario Dawson as a mysterious character and Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin.
The next to head into production is most likely Jessica Jones. “Right now, the writers' rooms are open and they're looking at casting Jessica,” says Sarandos. “Eventually the series will run very close together. You can then have a separate season where the characters will cross over."
And given that these street-level heroes share the same universe as Tony Stark and his pals, could they eventually also hit the big screen? Sarandos is sketchy: "It has definitely been talked about."
For more on this year's most exciting TV shows, pick up the new Empire, which hits shelves on Thursday. Or to make sure you never miss an issue, why not subscribe?