Marvel's Defenders characters have proven very popular in their current home on Netflix. Originally planned as four standalone series plus a final mini-series team-up, the streaming service has already promised fans second seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. The third Defender, Luke Cage, debuted in Jessica Jones and has his own series premiere later this year.
With the schedule so crowded already, rumors surfaced that the fourth character, Iron Fist, might not earn his own standalone story. Marvel COO Joe Quesada insisted late last year, however, that the show would be going forward. Soon afterwards, Scott Buck (Dexter) was announced as showrunner.
Iron Fist will center on character Daniel Rand, who returns to New York City after being missing for several years. He'll fight against the criminal underworld using his kung-fu skills and, as the official synopsis states, "his ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist." There was some debate about whether Marvel TV should/would select an Asian actor for the martial-arts-heavy role, and it seems we'll soon have an answer about their final decision.
Collider reports that Luke Cage star Mike Colter, while speaking at the Netflix portion of the TCA Press Tour, jokingly shared some news when discussing his character's future interactions with Iron Fist.
"The actor has been cast, but he’s in a basement somewhere. When the time is right, they’ll let him up and tell him where he is. I am [excited]. I’ll get a nice little break, after doing Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Whether I’m in [his show], I don’t know, but there’s The Defenders."
While Colter isn't sure about his involvement in Iron Fist, there will be at least one familiar face to fans of the Marvel/Netflix franchise. Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), the lawyer who worked with Jessica Jones on several cases and eventually had a life-altering Kilgrave experience of her own, will also appear in the Netflix series. The original comic book character (a man named Jeryn) was a lawyer and businessman who worked with Danny Rand's father, then later acted as manager for Luke Cage and Iron Fist's business, Heroes for Hire.
Connecting the shows in the Defenders universe is getting trickier as it expands, and incorporating the more mystical elements of the Iron Fist story presents an additional challenge -- especially considering the effects-lite productions we've seen so far from Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb did share that showrunner Buck's concept for the show "knocked us off our feet," and Jessica Jones writer/producer Scott Reynolds (also a Dexter alum) will be helping Buck bring the story to screen.
While the previous Marvel/Netflix series haven't been flawless, the majority of viewers have enjoyed the noir flavor and down-to-earth heroics. Likable, believable lead actors have helped draw fans into the stories, so -- as important as the writing and production values may be -- the casting of Iron Fist will have a lot to do with how well the show is received. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further updates on Iron Fist casting news.
Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, followed by Luke Cage season 1 later in 2016. Release dates for Iron Fist and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced. Screen Rant will also keep you updated on the Punisher spinoff as development continues.