Iron Fist: What We Know So Far
Three years ago, Marvel announced that four of its heroes would lead their own Netflix shows in the coming years. The last of those heroes is finally about to debut on the small screen. Following two seasons of Daredevil, and one season each of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Iron Fist is the next series to expand the Netflix side of the MCU. And, following in the footsteps of Doctor Strange and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, it will pull the curtain back on the mystical forces that are still very much a mystery in this world. However, like its predecessors, Iron Fist will also be packed with plenty of action in the streets of New York, which is appropriate since the eponymous hero has been one of the Marvel universe's top martial artists since the mid-1970s.
Since late 2015, information has slowly trickled about what to expect from Iron Fist, namely though casting reports. Then the first teaser premiered at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, and it was followed in October by a longer trailer shown at New York Comic-Con. With less than half a year to go until the series premiere, we've collected every important detail you need to know before checking out Iron Fist's first round of live action adventures.
Warning: there will be spoilers for the Marvel Netflix (opens in new tab) shows and Iron Fist's comic book adventures.
When Is The Iron Fist Release Date
Iron Fist will be the first Marvel Netflix show of 2017, with all 13 episodes of its first season premiering on Friday, March 17. So if you don't feel like celebrating St. Patrick's Day the usual ways, stay at your place and binge the adventures of Danny Rand, the MCU's living weapon. If it helps, Iron Fist wears a green costume in the comics, so that provides a loose connection to the Irish, alcohol-filled holiday. Okay, not important. The point is that, just like the previous Netflix shows, you'll be able to spend the whole weekend plowing through the Iron Fist episodes if you have the time.
What Is The Iron Fist Story
Judging from the trailers and reports released so far, it looks like Iron Fist will remain faithful to the original source material. As a child, Danny Rand lost his parents while they were exploring a snowy mountain located near the mystical city of K'un-Lun. Fortunately, the boy was soon discovered by K'un-Lun, and he spent the next 15 years learning martial arts and how to channel the power of the Iron Fist. Now in the present day, Danny will return to New York City to reclaim his father's company, but just like with every other superhero show, extraordinary threats will soon emerge from the shadows, and the young hero will be forced to choose between protecting his family's legacy or embracing his role as Iron Fist.
Our main protagonist, Danny Rand, will be played by Finn Jones, who was best known before this as Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Since Danny hasn't appeared in any of the previous Marvel Netflix series, we have no idea if his personality or characteristics have been altered for the MCU. All we know so far is that, like on the printed page, he is one of Earth's best fighters. After training in K'un-L'un for more than a decade, he is a master of kung fu and various other fighting styles. Those talents alone are enough to ensure he can deal with common threats that come his way, but not to worry, he's prepared for when more unusual forces emerge. As Iron Fist, Danny is able to channel his body's energy to enhance his natural abilities. This includes speed, reflexes, durability and agility, but it's the strength that especially benefits. Once his fist starts glowing, he packs enough power to punch through a wall, as seen in the teaser. However, the longer he uses this energy, the more tired he becomes, so it's a good thing he has those martial arts moves to fall back on.
Colleen Wing may not have any natural superpowers, but she won't be someone you want to mess with in Iron Fist. Played by Jessica Henwick, who played Jessika Pava in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Nymeria Sand in Game of Thrones, Colleen will run her own martial arts dojo in New York City. Needless to say, that means she's also an experienced fighter, but like her comic book counterpart, it also looks like she'll be a swordswoman, judging by the blade she was carrying on her back in the trailer. Aside from her encounters with Danny, she'll also interact with longtime Marvel Netflix player Claire Temple, which we'll touch on later. Beyond that, we don't know what to expect from Colleen in live action. That being said, if the MCU Netflix world is moving in a similar direction as the comics, don't be surprised if she eventually partners with Luke Cage's Misty Knight later down the line.
Before Danny Rand's parents died, they were business partners with a man named Harold Meachum, played by 300's David Wenham. Following their deaths, Harold took over the Rand Corporation, so when Danny Rand returns to New York City in Iron Fist to take back the company, that won't please him. If this guy sounds sinister, it's because he is. Going off the information we have so far, it sounds like Harold will be the show's main antagonist, at least from a corporate perspective. Oh, and remember when I mentioned earlier about how Danny's parents died tragically? In the comics, Harold accompanied the Rand family on their expedition, and he was responsible for killing Wendell Rand, though he spared Heather Rand and her son. It's possible that in this universe, Harold is also responsible for one or both of Danny's parents dying, but that has yet to be determined.
Harold Meachum doesn't run the Rand Corporation on his own. He has help from his two children. One of them is his son, Ward, played by Banshee's Tom Pelphrey. Ward and his sister Joy (we'll get to her on the next page) grew up with Danny, though it sounds like Ward may have picked on him. Like his father, Ward will be worried that Danny's return to New York City will undo all the work they've accomplished over the years with this company. After Harold died in the comics, both Ward and Joy sought revenge against Iron Fist, believing he was responsible for killing their father, even though the hero had been framed. Ward even collaborated with a few of Iron Fist's mystical enemies. However, Pelphrey specifically said in an interview that the Iron Fist TV series isn't "beholden to representing" Ward the same way on the small screen as he was in the comics, so the character may not travel down the same path in the MCU.
Working alongside Ward Meachum is Harold's daughter Joy, played by 90210 actress Jessica Stroup. Unlike her brother, it sounds like she'll be glad that Danny Rand is back in her life, although she will be initially hesitant about if he really is who he says he is. More importantly, Danny's presence will force her to ask questions about herself, and while not specifically stated, we wouldn't be surprised if one of these questions leads her to turn away from her father and brother, or at the very least realize that some of their actions in the name of protecting the company were wrong. As mentioned earlier, Joy attempted to destroy Iron Fist in the comics after she assumed he murdered her father, but she later realized she was wrong and became one of his allies. Perhaps a similar fate is in store for her in live action.
Remember how Phil Coulson and Nick Fury served as the connective threads between the Phase One MCU movies? That's Claire Temple's job in the Netflix world. After being an integral player in Daredevil's first two seasons and guest starring in the Jessica Jones Season 1 finale, Claire decided to go back home to Harlem in Luke Cage, but she couldn't escape getting involved in yet another superhero's life. Well, Iron Fist isn't going to cut that streak short. After watching Luke Cage's eponymous hero being taken away by the authorities in the Season 1 finale, Claire passed by a telephone pole with a flyer taped on advertising self-defense classes taught by a certain Colleen Wing. With all she's been through, from being kidnapped by gangsters to facing undead ninjas, it's no wonder she wants to learn how to fight. That means we'll see Claire training in Iron Fist, and by being in Colleen's presence, it's only a matter of time before she meets the newest Netflix hero.
Until now, the Netflix side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is primarily rooted in street-level crime and scientifically-based threats, but even in Daredevil Season 1, there were hints of supernatural forces at work. This was primarily through drug dealer Madame Gao, one of Wilson Fisk's associates. She always had a veil of mystery surrounding her, but when she was able to strike Daredevil with amazing force, that confirmed there was more to her than meets the eye. Despite saying she was returning to her "homeland" at the end of Season 1, Gao popped up again in Season 2 to direct the Man Without Fear to the Blacksmith. The latest Iron Fist trailer has since revealed that she'll also be participating in some way on this show as well. This seemed inevitable given that the symbol printed on her drug packets is the same one displayed by Steel Serpent, one of Iron Fist's enemies in the comics. Since her introduction, many fans have speculated that Madame Gao is the MCU's version of Crane Mother, and while that has yet to be confirmed, don't be surprised if Iron Fist pulls back the curtain on her mystical background.
Iron Fist has villainy covered from the corporate world though the Meachum family, and the mysterious Madame Gao will surely be up to no good. Still, aside from nameless goons, who can we expect to be Danny Rand's main physical adversary this season? Right now, that position seems to belong to Zhou Cheng, played by Mortal Kombat: Legacy's Lewis Tan. In the comics, Zhou Cheng serves an ancient creature called Ch'i Lin, who is desperate to obtain the egg of the dragon Shou-Lao, the being who is K'un Lun's source of power. The only way Ch'i Lin can accomplish this is if K'un Lun's champion, a.k.a. the Iron Fist, is killed, so Zhou Cheng has spent decades eliminating those who hold the title, and for the most part, he's been successful. However, Danny Rand is the newest Iron Fist, which means Cheng will be coming after him. Keep in mind that not every one of the elements above may be brought into the Iron Fist TV show, but at least we're guaranteed cool fights between Danny and Cheng.
Like Claire Temple, Jeri Hogarth can't escape getting involved in the lives of superpowered people. In Jessica Jones Season 1, her association with the main protagonist meant she also had the misfortunate of meeting Kilgrave. That eventually led to her fiancee being killed and her girlfriend going to prison. By the time the season concluded, all she had left was her legal career. Then Jeri briefly returned at the end of Daredevil Season 2 to recruit Foggy Nelson into her firm. Like her male counterpart from the comics, Jeryn Hogarth, Jeri will help Danny when he returns to the United States in Iron Fist, although it's unclear if she had a relationship with his parents before they died. Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb also said that Danny's optimism will contrast with Jeri's more cynical nature, but maybe being around the Marvel hero will soften her up a bit...just as long as that doesn't take away her edge in the courtroom.
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