So far, each of the Marvel Netflix shows has pretty much nailed the casting of its lead character. Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter have all brought their respective characters to life and done a great job of setting the stage for The Defenders next year. At this point, there's only one lead hero that we have yet to be introduced to: Finn Jones' Danny Rand in Iron Fist.
There were plenty of rumors early on that Marvel was having trouble with Iron Fist and more than a few that said the show was being scrapped completely. Marvel found its Danny Rand, though, and according to one of the executive producers on the show it was an easy decision to make.
"You know, we saw him and I think we all just knew immediately this is our guy. He’s a slightly younger character than the other Marvel heroes, and there’s a youthful optimism to him that Finn himself seems to generate, but — underneath that all — there’s some serious badass attitude that can come out. He just seemed to be able to display all that when needed and sometimes all at once, so he was very capable and flexible as he brought the character to life."
Of course, just because it was an easy decision for the casting team doesn't mean that it seemed quite that easy for Jones. Also at NYCC, Jones gave his take on what the casting process was like:
"I sent off a self tape back in London, and that was in November. This audition came through as I was in the airport leaving Game of Thrones. It was funny how things just flow into each other, you know? Like it was kind of meant to happen, like it was a destiny thing. Very strange! And then I sent off the self tape, and I didn’t hear until after Christmas when I was in LA and then they called me to audition in the room and I went through a couple of series of screentests and then eventually I got the part after two weeks of grueling… back-and-forth, going in to meet studio heads, testing with various actors."
Jones also explained that his training for the role began pretty much immediately after that, with five to six hours of training per day (including three hours of martial arts training and research into the mythology of the character and Buddhist philosophy). According to Jones, "...it’s been kind of non-stop since February!"
Having seen just a little of Jones in character as Danny Rand so far, fans are likely glad to hear that the production team thought that he was a great fit as Danny. Given how different the character is from the existing Defenders characters, it will be interesting to see just how well Jones' Danny Rand fits into the Netflix MCU. Considering how much work Jones seems to be putting into the role, though, fans will likely be quite satisfied with his portrayal.
Daredevil season 1 & 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are now available on Netflix. Iron Fist season 1 arrives on March 17th, 2017. The Defenders and The Punisher arrive in 2017. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2 and Daredevil season 3 have not yet been announced.