All eyes are on Marvel and Netflix this weekend for the impending premiere of Daredevil: Season 2. But while audiences are eager to catch up with Matt Murdock and his supporting cast once again, many more are also hyped to hear more about the other heroes whose series are still coming from the Marvel/Netflix alliance, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, who will eventually join Daredevil and Jessica Jones in the forthcoming team-up event The Defenders. Recently, it was reported that actor Finn Jones had been cast as Iron Fist, though Marvel had not officially confirmed such at the time.
However, Marvel had put the rumors to rest: Finn Jones is now officially confirmed to play Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, in the upcoming Netflix series. Moreover, Marvel teased an additional detail about the upcoming Netflix show, through its Twitter account.
While Jones' casting won't come as a surprise to many at this point (given how long the story was out there without a denial from Marvel), fans can now rest easy that the role has been filled and the project is proceeding as planned. Good thing, too, as Danny Rand is easily the most bizarre Marvel character to yet be featured as part of the Netflix series, which thus far have focused on heroes more grounded in street-level realism. Explains Iron Fist Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott Buck:
"Danny Rand is a very complicated character. He’s a billionaire New York Buddhist monk martial arts superhero who’s still trying to figure out what exactly that all means. Finn is able to play all these levels in such an honest, revelatory way that as soon as I saw him I knew he was our Danny."
In his traditional backstory, created in 1974 as part of a concerted effort by Marvel to launch new heroes grounded in the then-exploding popularity of both kung-fu movies at the box-office and Asian martial-arts and meditation techniques among American athletes, Danny Rand is a young boy left for dead in the mountains of Tibet after the betrayal and murder of his parents by their onetime friend Harold Meachum. Found alive and taken in by the residents of the fabled lost city of K'un-L'un, he is trained in ancient martial-arts and Buddhist mysticism, which he uses to avenge his family and battle evil upon returning to New York as the costumed vigilante Iron Fist. That's a far cry from the other street-level would-be Defenders we've met thus far and a difficult character to inhabit under any circumstances - but Marvel TV overseer Jeph Loeb believes Jones has what it takes:
"Finn wonderfully blends confidence with vulnerability, making him the perfect choice as he struggles to find his place in the world. Now that we’ve found our Danny Rand, we’ve completed our principal cast for the upcoming Defenders on Netflix and we are thrilled to continue to show audiences unexplored corners of the Marvel Universe."
Here is the aforementioned Iron Fist-related Tweet that Marvel posted online:
— Iron Fist (@MarvelIronFist) March 17, 2016
Notably, the Tweet which revealed the casting included an image that would appear to announce the presence of another perennial Iron Fist character in the series: A "while you were out" note marked "urgent" and stating that Joy Meachum is looking for information about Danny Rand. Meachum is one of the more prominent figures in the Iron Fist mythos: A brilliant businesswoman groomed from a young age to take over the Rand-Meachum Corporation, she blames Iron Fist for the murder of her father Harold - unaware that he murdered the Rands and that Iron Fist is actually innocent; the killing having been carried out by an assassin known only as The Ninja. Left unsaid is whom these notes are being left for - could Meachum be asking Jessica Jones or Matt Murdock to find information about Danny?
In the comics, Iron Fist eventually became best known as the ally and best friend of Luke Cage, with the character widely expected to first appear at some point in Cage's forthcoming series prior to the debut of his own. He was also involved in one of comics' first and most high-profile interracial romances with Misty Knight, another character already set to appear in the Luke Cage series.
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 on September 30th, 2016. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, Iron Fist, and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced.