During The Defenders panel at Comic-Con, Iron Fist star Finn Jones commented on how he sees his character evolving from Iron Fist to Defenders. The Marvel/Netflix panel was full of surprises this year. In addition to getting a first look at the upcoming Punisher series, attendees also got to watch the first episode of The Defenders in its entirety.
In addition to the big surprises, the panel also gave fans an update on how they can expect the team to come together and what each member of the team is doing as the show starts. The actors also provided a bit of insight into how they approached their roles and how that set up their performances in The Defenders.
Iron Fist's Finn Jones had perhaps the hardest task along these lines, since Danny is said to be instrumental in the team actually working together to take on The Hand. It doesn't help that the Iron Fist's production was reportedly troubled, with Jones having less time to prepare for the role than many would have liked. Despite being the least popular of the four shows setting up The Defenders, however, a second season of Iron Fist was announced during the panel.
Jones admitted during the panel that he always saw Iron Fist and The Defenders as being a connected part of his character's story arc. Instead of having full standalone arcs like the other characters, Iron Fist seems to move directly into the events of The Defenders with little pause. As Jones put it during the panel:
"I've always thought that season 1 of Iron Fist and The Defenders was like a Phase 1 for Danny. It's been fun to see him evolve over those two series."
It's an interesting point of view, and it helps to explain earlier comments that Jones made about Danny Rand not being mature or ready for a costume. It's been stated that the character will have matured by the end of The Defenders, so viewing the show as the second half of his initial character arc gives a more complete idea of the journey he makes from his origin in K'un-Lun to the present in New York.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether his character portrayal in The Defenders will make Danny Rand more liked among fans who found season 1 of Iron Fist to be a bit lacking. It's possible that Danny Rand will grow on audiences once he has a chance to interact with the likes of Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil, but some may already worry that he's going to drag The Defenders down. With any luck, though, we'll see a more fully mature Danny at the end and he'll be much more ready to tackle that second season.
Marvel’s The Defenders premieres on August 18, 2017 on Netflix. Marvel’s The Punisher premiers later in 2017, and additional seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are expected to air in 2018.