Netflix has been busy. In just under two years, the streaming service has somehow managed to add what is effectively a whole new universe onto the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was pretty huge already. And spanning across two seasons of Daredevil, and one each of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist, there’s no stopping it, especially when there’s also a super-powered team-up as big and awesome as the Defenders series on the cards very soon.
But how do you make your fourth and final superhero, in this case martial artist Danny Rand (Finn Jones), also known as Iron Fist, stand out from the crowd when everyone is busy getting hyped for the epic superhero collaboration that’s waiting just over the horizon?
“We always begin with the person, not the powers,” says Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb.
He found Danny Rand’s story particularly compelling. As a rich kid living in the financial district of New York, Rand had everything taken away from him when his parents tragically died and he became lost on the other side of the world. Believed to be dead, Rand causes some raised eyebrows when he shows up in New York 15 years later, very much not.
“He reappears with stories that sound like he’s a crazy person, and all he’s trying to do is get someone to believe in him,” Loeb continues. “Ultimately, it’s a story about a young man who, to find a way to get someone to believe in him, he needs to believe in himself first. We think that is a universe story.
“Even though Danny Rand is a billionaire, which makes him not even part of the one percent, he’s very vulnerable and very likeable, particularly in the way that Finn Jones plays him. But, make no mistake about it, he’s also very dangerous and we hope you’ll fall in love with him the way we have.”
Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck thinks that Danny’s sheer optimism and youth make him stand out from “very dark, haunted” characters like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
“They’re older, they’re in their thirties, so that’s who they’re going to be,” Buck says of the other future-Defenders. “But when we meet Danny Rand, he’s still young. He’s in his twenties and despite everything that has happened to him, he still has a very optimistic outlook on life, which is that no matter what happens somehow everything is going to turn out all right, even if past evidence doesn’t necessarily suggest so. He’s a more hopeful character, a lighter character, a more youthful character than the others.”
Marvel’s Iron Fist is available to stream on Netflix in all territories from 17 March. Get all the latest superhero news with every issue of SciFiNow.