The architects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have not been afraid to change things up when bringing beloved characters and storylines from the page to the screen. Things like race, gender, age, and backstories were successfully changed to make the MCU more reflective of the world we live in today. That’s why so many True Believers were disappointed when the studio decided against casting an Asian American actor to play Danny Rand in the upcoming Netflix series ‘Iron Fist’. In a time where diversity in media is in demand more than ever, why not give the Asian community a marquee hero of their own? Well, no matter what the reasoning was for keeping Danny Rand Caucasian, at least they’re being mindful of the stereotypes that have plagued Asian characters and stories in Hollywood for decades.
In a recent interview with Gadgets 360, showrunner Scott Buck discussed various topics relating to the Living Weapon. But one in particular that stood out was the question of whether Finn Jones’ Rand would be acting as a white savior, which is a common trope that sees a white character ride in and rescue people of color from their plights. With the mythology of Iron Fist so deeply rooted in Asian culture, many were worried that we would see this tired, outdated narrative yet again. However, Buck assures those concerned that this isn’t the case:
“When Marvel came to me with this idea, I’d never heard of Iron Fist or Danny Rand. I had never read the comics. What [Marvel TV head] Jeph Loeb pitched me specifically was this character Danny Rand, and that was the story that pulled me in. That intrigued me. So the other aspects I only learned about afterwards, and I can say most definitively Danny Rand is no white savior. He’s trying to save himself, if anything.”
That’s somewhat reassuring for sure. But just like ‘Doctor Strange’, it’s probably best to go into this show with cautious optimism. After all, Marvel Studios and Marvel Television have yet to really let us down in a really big way. Some might say that it’s only a matter of time and this could be that time, but again, let’s give the House of Ideas the benefit of the doubt for now and judge the project after it’s been released.
‘Iron Fist’ starring Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, Rosario Dawson, and Carrie-Ann Moss hits Netflix on March 17, 2016.