The mocking of Danny Rand in The Defenders has nothing to do with the backlash against Iron Fist. If you’ve had a chance to check out Marvel’s Netflix crossover series, you can’t have missed the roasting that Finn Jones’ character received. Characters from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage pretty much took it in turns to ridicule The Immortal Weapon.
It’s remarkable how much time was allotted for mocking Iron Fist amidst this long-anticipated crossover event. With Elektra coming back from the dead, future plotlines being teased, and the battle with The Hand unfolding as the main event, you’d think that ribbing Danny Rand would be the last thing on anyone’s minds. But his style, his origin, his powers and his attitude all came under attack.
In one particularly surprising sequence, Mike Colter’s Luke Cage dropped a number of truth bombs on Danny, pointing out his position of privilege and questioning his vigilante tactics. But as much as Luke’s comments sound like a reaction to the negative Iron Fist reviews, The Defenders’ executive producer Marco Ramirez has now revealed that all the Danny-mocking was the script long before the Iron Fist reviews came out. Here’s what Ramirez told EW:
“We were shooting the finale of The Defenders when Iron Fist season 1 was premiering, so by the nature of it, we couldn’t have reacted to it. Any interaction they have to Danny is all based on just the dynamics we wanted to build. It felt like, if somebody came in and said, “My fist glows with chi and I punched a dragon and turned into this,” there’s no way around the fact that Jessica Jones is going to say, “Bullsh–, you sound like a crazy person.”
So, due to schedules, nothing in The Defenders was based on the fans and critics’ reaction to Iron Fist. It’s just a happy coincidence that Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Matt Murdock all gave Danny as short a shrift as they did, shortly after Danny’s solo series received similarly negative appraisals in real life. As Ramirez puts it, "they’re all so grounded and so gritty, but like if a guy walks into these rooms with a glowing fist saying, 'My chi is expanding,' all of them will say 'I don’t buy it.' That’s the natural thing for them to do."
However, now that Iron Fist and The Defenders have both aired, and neither has received reviews as glowing as a chi-powered fist, Marvel and Netflix can start to take the feedback on board. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Danny next, as his second solo series is bound to be an important point in the next phase of this Marvel/Netflix collaboration. Only time will tell what it entails, but some sort of shakeup seems inevitable.
The Defenders is streaming now. Iron Fist season 2 doesn’t have a release date yet, but it has been announced.