Business is booming in the Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the success of the first season of ‘Daredevil,’ production began on ‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Luke Cage’ entered the writing stage, and a second season of the Man Without Fear’s series featuring Jon Bernthal as the Punisher has been announced. However, no one is really talking about ‘Iron Fist.’. What’s the hold up on the fourth piece on the Defenders puzzle? Apparently the House of Ideas is fresh out in that department.
Okay, maybe it’s not that extreme, but according to Devin Faraci of Birth Movies Death (formerly Badass Digest), Marvel Studios is still trying to figure out how to approach Danny Rand, the martial artist with the ability to channel a mystic force into his fists. After hearing many pitches, it seems like nothing is sticking because they’re getting tripped up on the various mystical elements contained in Iron Fist’s backstory. The other heroes included in Netflix’s slate of Marvel programming are all very grounded, street-level heroes, so Rand’s story would certainly stand out from the pack. And that’s where the hold up presents itself. The people in charge are trying to determine just how much wuxia to include in the upcoming show.
Although, I’m not sure why this presents such a problem. Before assembling in ‘The Avengers,’ Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor all stood alone in separate film franchises that utilized various genres that didn’t really mix together on paper. Marvel’s Netflix shows can do the same thing. It’s not like the audience wouldn’t buy into it.
Additionally, ‘Daredevil’ left the door wide open for a more supernatural involvement in the MCU, specifically the mystical aspects of Iron Fist. The first season introduced Madam Gao, a mysterious figure from the Far East who always seemed like she was hiding something more sinister. The symbol that appeared on her drugs was that of the Steel Serpent, an Iron Fist villain from the comics. Surely the ‘Iron Fist’ creative team could pick up those loose threads and tie them to the hidden city of K’un Lun, chi powers, and martial arts. If they can’t, then they might as well have given Shang-Chi his own show instead of Danny Rand.
Finally, Marvel Studios is preparing to introduce more magic into their universe with ‘Doctor Strange’ in Phase Three. At this rate, ‘Iron Fist’ probably won’t be ready until after Stephen Strange makes an appearance in the MCU, so fans will already be used to seeing one kind of mystical force in this world. So what’s the point of taking away fundamental characteristics from Iron Fist?
Here’s my solution: Marvel and Netflix could introduce Danny Rand in ‘Luke Cage’ without any powers (along with Colleen Wing, Shang-Chi, Misty Knight, and other Heroes for Hire). After that, they could sprinkle hints throughout the shows that come before ‘Iron Fist’ to set up for Danny’s transformation into the Iron Fist as his adventures depict magic powers similar to Doctor Strange’s on a more street level.
No matter how Marvel and Netflix decide to solve their ‘Iron Fist’ problem, it doesn’t sound like a solution will be reached within the next few months. The report says that we’ll likely learn about the cast and crew of the show at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. So as we wait and see how they choose to approach the mystical martial artist, share your thoughts on the upcoming series and it’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the comments below.