With Marvel laying down the groundwork and announcing plans for a schedule of big budget summer superhero movies back in 2008 after the success of Iron Man, those projects (and the dreams of many fans come true) have since become a reality. Iron Man 2 came and went and we’re already deep into production for Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, both due out next year.

We all know these heroes and stars will team-up for The Avengers in 2012 but the question of what comes next remains somewhat of a mystery. With talk of so many second tier Marvel characters getting potential feature film treatment and some of them even getting writers and/or a director, we’re starting to get an idea of what heroes may hit the silver screens next. One of them of course, is Danny Rand aka Iron Fist.

Almost exactly a year ago, action star Ray Park (Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace) stated that he very much desires to play Iron Fist in his film adaptation, after having been attached to star in the project a decade ago before Marvel got back the rights to the property. Since that time, the character has been name-dropped by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, Marvel President Kevin Feige and many others but now it’s officially moving forward.

According to Deadline’s exclusive, Marvel Studios has hired screenwriter Rich Wilkes (xXx) to pen the screenplay for Iron Fist and all I can say is “finally!” Iron Fist can make for one very unique action movie if done correctly and I’m curious as to how he’ll be introduced. We know Marvel has an interest in possibly developing a series of micro-budget films for secondary (read: completely unknown to the mainstream) characters and that some of them may be introduced through Marvel short films attached to their big summer blockbusters (a la Disney’s Pixar with their animated shorts) to help gauge fan reaction and moviegoer demand for full features of said characters.

For those unfamiliar with Danny Rand, Iron Fist is one of the greatest unarmed fighters in the world, having mastered many martial arts and their accompanying weapons. For his superhero ability, he possesses the power of the Iron Fist which allows him to control Chi energy, augmenting all of his natural abilities and making him unstoppable for a time, but it cannot be used continuously. His big move involves channeling the Chi into his fist, wrapping it in energy so he can really lay down the pain. Iron Fist can also has the ability to heal himself and others.

Perhaps it’s better to see Danny Rand in action to get a better idea of what Iron Fist is really all about. Here’s an Iron Fist gameplay trailer from his appearance in the Activision video game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2:

Iron Fist, like Dr. Strange, Runaways and other projects (Ant-Man, SHIELD, etc.)  in development will all be among the first Marvel Studios movies to be distributed by their new owner, Disney, as their current contract expires with Paramount after Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and Iron Man 3 all debut.

With Iron Fist getting a writer, albeit one that I’m hesitant on after seeing xXx, does this mean he won’t be teaming up with Luke Cage in a Heroes for Hire film as Ray Park suggested last summer? Will Luke Cage be next to get his only solo film since in May we heard Marvel was in talks with a known Hollywood actor to play the Power Man?

Let the speculation begin as to who should portray Danny Rand on screen!

Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: Deadline