With production on the horizon and the beautiful debris of Daredevil season 2 leaving fans craving more, news surrounding the highly anticipated live-action Iron Fist Netflix series has been suspiciously quiet outside of a few casting details — but recently, actor Finn Jones opened up about what’s going on behind the scenes as he prepares to take on the lead role.
Achieving the physique of a martial arts master and billionaire is a major focus for the show’s lead when considering the role’s authenticity. In a recent interview, Jones explained the intense training regimen that came with the title.
Talking to EW, the actor detailed a program that not only focuses on physical training, but also on meditation and spiritual calm. He undergoes several hours of martial-arts practice (“kung fu and wushu mixed with a bit of tai chi”), followed by lifting weights (“to bulk me up”), then meditation and Buddhist philosophy studies. “I’ve always dreamed of a role that bridged spiritual discipline and badass superhero,” Jones says. “There’s a contradiction in those elements that’s going to be very fun to play.”
This style of “mind, body, and spirit”-style training is perfect for a character like Iron Fist, who has quite an interesting comic book backstory and a cult following that is dedicated to it. Originally named Danny Rand, he was orphaned as a child while on an expedition with his family to China in a tragic accident that left him the only survivor. Taken in by the people of K’un-Lun, a mystical lost city, Rand is raised as a warrior monk and becomes a martial arts master. He undergoes years of intense training physically, and nearly a lifetime of training his mind and soul in order to master the power of the Iron Fist. Once old enough, Rand returns to his hometown of New York City to fight crime so that no one has to suffer the way he did.
The series will also feature another Game of Thrones star: Jessica Henwick (who most recently popped up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Jess “Testor” Pava) as martial arts master Colleen Wing. On board as showrunner is Scott Buck of Dexter fame, but most of the other details are being kept tightly under wraps. Iron Fist will be the fourth addition to Marvel’s Defenders Netflix universe, rounding out the team after Luke Cage airs on September 30.
It’s incredible to see this kind of tailored physical training as it works its magic, but this isn’t the first time that Marvel has mixed up fight training in this unique way — back when Avengers: Age of Ultron was leading up to production, actress Elizabeth Olsen learned dance choreography as part of her training for Scarlet Witch, who is often in midair when she attacks. This seems to play training to the same tune: where it immerses the actor in ways that give them experience to benefit them not only during stuntwork, but also in bringing the character to life on-screen. Knowing that Jones will understand the point of view behind Iron Fist puts this Iron Fist die-hard at ease.
Daredevil season 1 & 2 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Luke Cage season 1 will arrive on September 30th, 2016. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, Iron Fist, and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced. We’ll keep you posted on the possibility of a Punisher series as the story develops.