Hot on the tail of Daredevil star Charlie Cox confirming that the Defenders series begins filming this year, more Iron Fist casting news has emerged today from Marvel. Actor David Wenham, who appeared as Faramir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Dilios in 300 and its sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, has joined the cast as the dangerous Harold Meachum, who seems to be at least one of the antagonists of the series.
Today, Iron Fist executive producer and showrunner Scott Buck expressed his excitement to have Wenham on the cast. "David is capable of displaying raw, visceral strength as well as extremely keen intelligence. This will add up to a character of complex depth who will keep us off balance all season."
Harold Meachum's counterpart from the original Iron Fist comic series was a former business partner of Wendell Rand, the father of series protagonist Danny Rand. During an expedition near the mystical city of K'un-Lun, Meachum unexpectedly went mad and turned on Wendell, sending Danny's father falling to his death off of a mountainside. Meachum then professed his love to Wendell's wife Heather, who fled with Danny only to be eaten by wolves, leaving her young son an orphan. Afterward, Meachum returned to run the business he once shared with Wendell, with the knowledge that Danny Rand had survived. With that in mind, Meachum prepared for Danny's eventual return and their ultimate confrontation.
The character's description in the series doesn't veer too far off of that, though Jeff Loeb (one of the show's executive producers and head of Marvel television) describes the elements that Wenham brings to the table as "a gravitas our series requires as Danny unravels the secrets behind Rand Enterprises." Wenham is also no stranger to the Disney umbrella, and will be starring in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017. Wenham joins already announced cast members Finn Jones (Iron Fist/Danny Rand) and Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing).
Marvel has no shortage of interesting villains, and the depth given to antagonists in their past Netflix shows will likely continue into this portrayal of Meachum. One of the stand-out elements of Daredevil was the weakness and humanity in Wilson Fisk, whereas Jessica Jones' Kilgrave can be seen as a walking horror-show representation of real life abusive partnerships. While Meachum was nothing short of insane throughout his comic book appearances, giving similar terrifying and oh-so-human qualities to this live-action iteration of the character will likely be one of the major elements that makes or breaks Iron Fist.
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.