Defendor (2009) Poster

Defendor (2009)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 18,695 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama
  • Release Date: 13 May 2010 (Brazil)
  • Runtime: 101 min | Canada:95 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
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Defendor (2009)


Defendor 2009tt1303828.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Defendor (2009)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 18,695 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama
  • Release Date: 13 May 2010 (Brazil)
  • Runtime: 101 min | Canada:95 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Filming Location: Dundas, Ontario, Canada
  • Budget: $3,500,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $44,462(USA)
  • Director: Peter Stebbings
  • Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings and Sandra Oh
  • Original Music By: John Rowley (music composer)  
  • Soundtrack: Stash
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Superhero | Vigilante | Superhero Costume | Thrown Through A Window | Hiding In A Dumpster

Writing Credits By:

  • Peter Stebbings (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Ellen Page was rumored to star at one point. She later starred in the similar themed SUPER.
  • Canadian actor Peter Stebbings’s screenwriting and directorial debut.

Goofs: Continuity: Near the end, Dooney slaps Kat while standing in one place. In the next shot he is standing at least five feet from her, not nearly close enough to be able to reach her face without moving.

Plot: A comedy centered around three characters: an everyday guy who comes to believe he's a superhero, his psychiatrist, and the teenager he befriends. Full summary »  »

Story: A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero of his own making, Defendor. With no power other than courage Defendor takes to the streets to protect the city's innocents.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: During the day, Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is a normal man (even if slightly naive to the workings of the world) working in the construction industry. During the night time, he transforms into his alter-ego, Defendor, protecting the streets from thugs. The city has a problem with thugs and nobody is prepared to stand up and fight for themselves. The police are slow to catch the wrongdoers and Arthur has a huge willpower to do what he can to help the people. He helps Kat (Kat Dennings) one night from Dooney – when she really didn’t need any help – she was a hooker. Dooney (Elias Koteas) is a corrupt cop in the police force and he is in cahoots with a Serbian mob boss. Arthur has been searching for Captain industry all his life as he had killed his mother. Kat and Arthur become friends and Defendor goes after Captain Industry knowing that there is a very high chance of dying or getting arrested.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Tim Brown known as executive producer (as Tim J. Brown)
  • Sean Buckley known as executive producer
  • Joel Burch known as associate producer
  • Leah Jaunzems known as associate producer
  • John N. Kozman known as executive producer (as John Kozman)
  • Tim Merkel known as executive producer
  • Mark Slone known as executive producer
  • Nicholas Tabarrok known as producer (producer) (as Nicholas D. Tabarrok)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Woody Harrelson known as Arthur Poppington / Defendor
  • Elias Koteas known as Sgt. Chuck Dooney
  • Michael Kelly known as Paul Carter
  • Sandra Oh known as Dr. Ellen Park
  • Kat Dennings known as Katerina Debrofkowitz
  • Clark Johnson known as Capt. Roger Fairbanks
  • Lisa Ray known as Dominique Ball
  • Alan C. Peterson known as Radovan Kristic (as A.C. Peterson)
  • Kristin Booth known as Wendy Carter (as Kristen Booth)
  • Charlotte Sullivan known as Fay
  • Tony Nappo known as Biker Cliff
  • Ron White known as Judge Wilson
  • David Gardner known as Grandpa Henry
  • Bryan Renfro known as Mr. Debrofkowitz
  • Max Dreesen known as Young Arthur
  • Matt Gordon known as Jerry
  • James Preston Rogers known as Biker Bob
  • Graham Abbey known as Constable Mike
  • Michael Cram known as Blake
  • Lyriq Bent known as Wayne
  • Tatiana Maslany known as Olga
  • Peter Stebbings known as Doctor
  • Dakota Goyo known as Jack Carter – 9
  • John Paul Ruttan known as Jack Carter – 4
  • Ryan Dineen known as Graffiti Artist (as Ryan Dineen a.k.a. Rons)
  • Jim Ladd known as Radio Announcer (voice)
  • Cynthia Amsden known as Woman with Poinsettia (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • James D. Brown known as first assistant hair stylist (as James Brown)
  • Linda Dowds known as key makeup artist
  • Liz Gruszka known as first assistant makeup artist (as Elizabeth Gruszka)
  • Diana Ladyshewsky known as key hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Artchild known as artist: Defendor mural
  • J.P. Dame known as set dresser
  • Ryan Dineen known as artist: Defendor mural (as Rons)
  • Mauro Iacobelli known as key painter
  • Alan Letts known as construction coordinator
  • Mario Moreira known as assistant prop master
  • James R. Murray known as property master (as Jim Murray)
  • John Rankin known as set dresser
  • Sean Scoffield known as graphic artist
  • Adam Smith known as specialty prop fabricator
  • Geoffrey Smith known as leadman (as Geoff Smith)
  • Rob Valeriote known as head carpenter
  • Dawna Weeks known as on-set dresser
  • Jennifer Wood known as set dec buyer




Production Companies:

  • Insight Film Releasing (present)
  • Alliance Films (present)
  • Darius Films (producer)
  • BUCK Productions (producer)
  • Téléfilm Canada (produced with the participation of) (as Telefilm Canada)
  • Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) (produced with the participation of) (as Ontario – Ontario Media Development Corporation/Société de développement de l'industrie des médias de l'Ontario)
  • Harold Greenberg Fund, The (produced with the participation of) (as Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund Le Fonds Harold Greenberg)
  • Movie Network, The (TMN) (produced in association with) (as M The Movie Network an Astral Media Network)

Other Companies:

  • Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)  acknowledgment (as ACTRA)
  • Artifex Studios  special thanks to (as Artifex)
  • Artifex Studios  title design by (as Artifex)
  • BUCK Productions  special thanks to (as The entire team at Buck Productions)
  • Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC)  with the assistance of
  • Capri Family Restaurant  catering
  • Carhartt  special thanks to
  • City of Hamilton  special thanks to
  • DGC Ontario  acknowledgment (as DGC Directors Guild Of Canada Ontario)
  • Entertainment Partners Canada  payroll service (as Entertainment Partners)
  • Harold Greenberg Fund, The  our thanks to (as our friends at the Harold Greenberg Fund)
  • Heenan Blaikie Lawyers  production legal (as Heenan Blaikie)
  • Helios Design Laboratories  special thanks to (as Helios Design Labs)
  • Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters  acknowledgment (as Teamsters Motion Picture & Theatrical Trade Division)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)  this picture made under the jurisdiction of (as I.A.T.S.E.® affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O.-C.L.C.)
  • Kudlow & McCann  audit & tax accounting
  • Live  catering: raw vegan
  • Monkeyland Audio  additional adr recording
  • Movie Network, The (TMN)  our thanks to (as our friends at The Movie Network)
  • Multimedia Risk Consultants and Insurance Brokers  insurance brokers (as Multimedia Risk)
  • National Bank of Canada  interim banking (as The National Bank of Canada)
  • Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)  our thanks to (as our friends at the OMDC)
  • Panavision  camera systems by (as Panavision)
  • Rancho Relaxo  catering
  • Roots  special thanks to
  • Stargrazing  craft service
  • Stealing Time  editing facilities provided by
  • Technicolor Creative Services  dailies by (as Technicolor Toronto)
  • Technicolor Creative Services  digital intermediate by (as Technicolor Toronto)
  • Toronto Film Studios  production office space
  • Toronto Film Studios  special thanks to
  • Toronto Film and Television Office, The  special thanks to
  • Téléfilm Canada  very special thanks: without whose support this film would never have been made (as our friends at Telefilm Canada)
  • Urban Post Production  post production sound editing
  • William F. White International  lighting and grip equipment (as William F. White)
  • Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company  special thanks to


  • Darius Films (2010) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) (2010) (USA) (all media)
  • Alliance Atlantis Home Video (2010) (Canada) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Alliance Films (2010) (Canada) (all media)
  • Eagle Films (2009) (non-USA) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Odeon Films (2010) (Canada) (all media)
  • Prorom Media-Trade (2010) (Romania) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2010) (Argentina) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Artifex Studios (visual effects by) (as Artifex)
  • Acme F/X (special effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Chris Abbas known as compositor
  • Andy Asperin known as lead 3D animator (as Andres Asperin)
  • Nadine Blackler known as compositor
  • Kyle Botha known as 3D artist
  • Stanislav Enilenis known as 3D effects technical director (as Stan Enilenis)
  • Elaine Fung known as 3D artist
  • Jason Giberson known as digital restoration artist
  • Sean Gilhooly known as visual effects coordinator
  • Louie Hinayo known as 3D animator
  • Milton Muller known as compositor
  • Gordon Oscar known as 3D artist
  • Richard Patterson known as CG supervisor
  • Vasho Pekar known as compositor
  • Kenton Rannie known as compositor
  • Adam Stern known as visual effects producer
  • Adam Stern known as visual effects supervisor
  • Brent Veal known as compositor

Release Date:

  • Canada 12 September 2009 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Canada 5 December 2009 (Whistler Film Festival)
  • Canada 19 February 2010 (limited)
  • USA 26 February 2010 (limited)
  • Canada 13 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 13 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 20 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 21 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • France 5 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Brazil 13 May 2010
  • Argentina 19 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 20 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 14 July 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Italy 3 November 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for drug use and language throughout, violence and sexual content



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. pyrocitor from Ontario, Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    Given the recent onslaught of superhero films hitting theatres, itwould seem only natural to anticipate parodic responses to the genre,sending up its excesses and sillier elements. On the surface, it wouldappear that debut director Peter Stebbings' Defendor is exactly such afilm, casting Woody Harrelson's oddball everyman as a surrogatecrimefighter and exploiting his antics for humour in the vein of 1999'sMystery Men. And initially this is the approach the film itself appearsgearing up to take, opening with a hysterical spoofing of overblownsuperhero film clichés, including rooftop billowing fog, high contrastcity lights against nighttime darkness, and larger than life acrobaticfeats ("always check the garbage days" moans a wounded Defendor afterleaping off a rooftop into a dumpster recently emptied of garbage tocushion his fall). Such astute genre awareness combined with thewonderfully imaginative collection of Defendor's makeshiftcrimefighting weapons (including the most inspired use of marbles seenin ages) could easily have assured for an hour and a half oflighthearted, enjoyable cinematic fun.

    But Stebbings' film has grander ambitions than a mere surface levelparody, which subtly unfold as the film progresses. As the laughsslowly become fewer and fewer, Defendor's narrative becomes steadilymore engrossing, settling on a tone pitched halfway betweenexhilarating crime/mystery thriller and poignant character study, asthe viewer is led increasingly to question Defendor's mental stability,and even the ethics of his imbalanced war against injustice. While suchtransitioning between tones could prove a dangerous stumbling ground,Stebbings is careful to distinguish between his darker themes andmoments of levity, utilizing dashes of all too real violence tosavagely undercut the fantasy or parodic elements. For all Defendor'ssilliness, it certainly packs a brutal punch when necessary.

    Of course, being the work of a first time director, one would expectthe occasional fumble, and Stebbings' film does lose its way for aperiod nearing the climax, meandering somewhat and losing its rhythm.Nonetheless, an emerging subplot musing on the roots and importance ofheroism (clearly borrowing amply from Christopher Nolan's recent twoBatman reboots among other sources) which could have been the clumsiestaddition to the movie actually emerges as surprisingly tasteful andfunctional, adding more nuance and complexity to the unfolding filmwithout coming across as excessively pretentious. Completing thepackage is the wonderfully grandiose musical score by John Rowley,managing to perfectly encompass each tonal shift, whether gleefullyriffing on superhero musical motifs or offering something more profoundand honest, either way adding welcome depth and volume to a filmalready far from lacking in either.

    The casting of Woody Harrelson as the titular hapless crimefighter alsoproves a stroke of genius, as Harrelson's naturally wacky yet powerfulcharisma exemplifies the essence of the film, beautifully blendingchild-like emotional simplicity, tenacious determination and enoughflat out weirdness to make it all ring true, as well as an inspiredripoff of Christian Bale's now iconic Batman voice. Kat Dennings isequally delightful to watch as a young prostitute who may be eitherbefriending or manipulating Defendor, warping her naturally quirky andspunky energy into something darker, yet just as resonant. Elias Koteasessays antagonistic clichés with the utmost grotesque skill as acrooked cop, and Michael Kelly reconciles a weakly written role with agruff credibility as Defendor's employer and solitary friend. Finally,Sandra Oh is superb in her few scenes as Defendor's psychologicalexaminer, infusing impressive dramatic tension with moments of deadpanhumour, and bringing welcome life to the film.

    It would be easy to compare Defendor as a film to its protagonist:slightly cumbersome and prone to stumbling at times, yet cleverlyself-aware, comical yet with layers of unexpected darkness, and overallencompassed by such an infectious sense of classic, cheesy charm thatit is near impossible not to love in the end. Whether taken as asuperhero parody, straight out superhero film or character study (orultimately all three), Defendor proves a highly enjoyable success, andone easily worth a watch.


  2. Duff Hendrickson ( from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    The only reason I can think of why a person would give this movie a badreview is that it wasn't the movie they expected. I liked it from thefirst minute to the last, and I didn't know what to expect. I can'tthink of a single flaw in this very low budget film, so in comparisonto some of the disappointing big popular movies out there that haveexpensive visible flaws, I give Defendor a big YES. Woody did a verygood job on this film. I can see by his performance that he enjoyedmaking it and I enjoyed watching him.

    I was disappointed in Woody Harrelson's previous acting in the "2012"monstrous mess where he painfully overacted and seemed to be tellingthe audience that it was all a bad joke. Defendor made up for that.

    Woody proved that you don't have to have expensive green-screen specialeffects to make a good movie. It can be done with acting talent. Thankyou Woody!

    Relax your mind, see the movie, let yourself enjoy it.

  3. nightcity from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    One of the best movies I have seen this decade, funny, touching andclever. It would have totally passed me by if someone hadn'trecommended it, which is a shame as it's an excellent film.

    Acting, music score, writing all come together really well. Thank youWoody for another great movie.

    I would really recommend this film to anyone even if the "superherogenre" is not your thing, since that is only tertiary to the themeanyway.

    I look forward to seeing more from Peter Stebbings.

    I can only hope that "Kick Ass" is half as good as Defendor.

  4. Paul Haakonsen from Denmark
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    Wow, this movie was awesome.

    I sat down to watch this movie with no high expectations, and I waspleasantly surprised. Finally a "superhero" movie you can relate to,instead of everything being all high and mighty on morals and superpowers.

    "Defendor" had it all, comedy, action, drama and romance. What madethis movie unique was the blend of genres which works really well.Initially I thought it was just a spoof of superhero movies, but"Defendor" is so much more than that.

    The characters in the movie are real and believable. Hats off to WoodyHarrelson for his marvelous performance as Arthur / Defendor. This rolereally showed off Woody's acting talents. I think we can all see partsof ourselves in the Defendor character, and that is what makes thismovie so powerful, so gripping and so entertaining.

    And also to Elias Koteas for his role as the corrupt policeman and KatDenings as her role of a young woman in drug abuse and harsh lifesituation. And the supporting roles were nicely portrayed as well.

    The story told in "Defendor" easily picks you up and keeps you tight.It is really good and you can place yourself in that story. It is verybelievable and leaves you very entertained.

    I was thoroughly entertained from start till end. Lots of good action,really good and solid story, and spectacular acting. This is definitelya keeper, a movie with enough value to be watched more than once.

  5. Muttines from Scotland, UK
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    This was a rather enjoyable and strangely touching action caper, withmoments of genuine depth and truth.

    Woody Harrelson proves once again that he's an incredibly versatile andemotionally astute actor, with an arresting performance that carriesthe story along with remarkable zeal and fun. And while the plot anddirection skirt close to sentimentalism towards the end, Harrelsonexecutes the last few scenes in a manner so as not to spoil the quirkyedge of the film.

    Another angle that I found particularly enjoyable were the deferredreferences to Don Quixote – if you've read Cervantes's hilariousRennaissance series you'll no doubt notice uncanny similarities thatsuggest homage: In lieu of the outlandish chivalric tales that maddenDon Quixote and compel him to forge his own suit of armour and 'sallyforth' into the wilds of quiet old La Mancha, we have 'Defendor', whosimilarly loses what few wits he has to begin with by obsessivelyreading comic books and deciding to become a superhero in an anonymouspost-industrial slum. Sancho Panza is replaced by a saner but similarlypliant crack-addict, Kat, and Rosindante is supplanted by his'defendog' mobile.

    There are other similarities the movie has with D. Quixote, but tomention those would give the game away. It will suffice to say,however, that the film is quite highly recommended by this viewer, ifnot just for the joy of seeing Don Quixote once again take to thestreets in all his glory.

  6. Thomas Elfgren from Sweden
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    Probably the best movie so far, this year. And it would have dodged myradar completely if my friend wouldn't have recommended it to me.

    So here's me, recommending it to you.

    It's a dark comedy, which will make you laugh, no doubt. But it'scomedy saturated with a sad story about this great guy that escapes hisordinary life by turning into this Defendor character. Someone who'snot afraid. Allegedly a thousand times better than the guy without themask. And together they'll make you love this movie.

    It actually reminded me a lot of "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler.Which is also very good.

    If you're in the mood for a drama that'll captivate you, but won't ripyour heart out, like Million Dollar Baby might have or most certainlywill. This is what you're looking for.

    Thank you, Woody!

  7. dennispublic from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    Wow, that was surprising.

    I stumbled across this film by accident, I saw that Woody was in it sodecided to give it a try. I wasn't expecting much because I had neverheard of it. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

    This movie is great! "Defendor" is very funny, yet has a real story,and will get you emotionally involved when your not laughing your buttoff. You pretty much can't go wrong here. Most importantly it was allthrown together beautifully, hats off to the writers and director.Every actor did a great job as well, but Woody stole the show, hedeserves an award for this – he nailed the roll and then some. 110%.Well done.

    This movie is underrated!

  8. T k A from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    A tragic action-adventure film about a mentally challenged man whoworks as a traffic sign holder by day, but who becomes Defendor bynight. Armed with his club, marbles, firecrackers, and angry hornets,Defendor emerges from his secret hideout, helping others and stoppingpunks, in his effort to find Capitan Industry and bring him down. Hisexploits pique the interests of a girl, a family, and eventually awhole town. By his youthful wisdom, determined and fearless bravery, hegains many admirers who voice support for his cause.

    If you're looking for a little adventure or a touching story, take thetime to watch Defendor, A very enjoyable movie with great lessons.Don't pass it up!

  9. stefan-humphrey from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    While at first I thought it was a comedy, I was soon proved wrong. Ilike Woody Harrelson for his comedic value, this pushed his actingskills in a newer direction. While still maintaining a comedic overtoneit settled into a serious note that is very seldom seen in most newermovies. It's not big on special effects or huge explosions, but themovie its self makes up for all that for being big on heart and able totouch feelings that haven't been touched in a while.All in all I'd sayWoody Harrleson doesn't deserve an Oscar for his performance(while itwas quite memorable), the movie does deserve an honorable mention at asmany award shows as possible!

  10. judithlpz from Monterrey Mexico
    30 Mar 2012, 2:58 am

    Defendor is a movie that describes a simple history in a very dark way,the marketing of the movie is wrong because present Defendor as a comicmovie when truly it is not; here we have a sad history when almostimmediately we know that by the end not all will be happiness.

    Here we have a very good casting and a movie done with a goodcinematography and with details which will be difficult realize thatDefendor really had a very small budget.

    Peter Stebbings did a very good job here his first chance as directorand probably his only fail was in the history of his main characterleaving him without any chance of success because it is remarkable thatArthur-Defendor had a lot of disadvantages.

    Mention apart deserves Woody Harrelson, again he prove that currentlynobody better than him for create characters with a range of emotions,he got the perfect balance between strength and sensibility and in eachlook (helped maybe for his intense blue eyes) shows intense tenacityand tenderness, in my opinion here he is even better than in "TheMessenger" (his last academy award nomination).

    Defendor probably is not a perfect movie but Woody Harrelson rescuesany mistake on it, congratulations whoever chose him for this movie.

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