It seems Marvel Studios wants to make big changes and reboot Iron Fist — perhaps replacing or kicking out Finn Jones as Danny Rand in favour of a different story in the MCU.
With Disney+ quickly growing to the ranks of one of the most used streaming services, and Disney owning Marvel Studios, it came as no surprise when it was announced in March that all of Marvel’s original series for Netflix (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, The Defenders and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) which had all been streaming exclusively on the streaming service will be moving to Disney+ instead.
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A Short Lifespan
Before the show even made the move over to its new platform home, Iron Fist was cancelled in 2018 after two short seasons. Although the series had a mixed critical reception, the show quickly grew a sizable fanbase, which was understandably devastated when the show was cut.
When chatting to Collider’s Christina Radish, Finn Jones (who starred as Danny Rand) said that he was quite heartbroken about the cancellation of the series, saying “Really, Season 3 had so much promise and it’s a shame to see it squandered and never get to reach its full potential.”
Some of the series that have made the move from Netflix to Disney+ are looking at either being rebooted or having the series continue where it left off if Marvel Studios is happy with it. There have been whispers about Daredevil being rebooted for Disney+ that will be hitting the platform as late as 2024, but it proves that the studio is looking to continue some of their Defender series. Jessica Jones has been mentioned along with some of the bigger shows like Luke Cage and Daredevil, but everyone is wondering what is happening with Iron Fist (which also starred Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum, Sacha Dhawan as Davos, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, Alice Eve, Tom Pelphrey, David Wenham, Wai Ching Ho, and Simone Missick as Misty Knight).
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Plans for a Reboot
YouTuber ComicBookCast2 released a video on the 9th of August 2022 chatting about the situation with these Marvel Netflix and ABC shows, and what might happen to Iron Fist.
According to insiders that have chatted to them, Marvel Studios is looking to reboot Iron Fist and simply start from the beginning, as well as recast the lead actor. It is not discussed why they would want to scrap the Netflix rendition of it entirely and almost pretend like it never happened, but one thing is clear, they aren’t happy with it as it stands, and if Iron Fist is going to continue, it currently seems like the only way it will move forward is as an entirely new reboot.
CBC mentioned that it felt like Marvel Studios was saying “We can still acknowledge it, but we’re going to give you the real Iron Fist experience.” And to do that they want to remake Iron Fist from scratch because it’s going to be a clean reboot that doesn’t hinge on any of the canon from the Netflix show. It also wouldn’t be the first time that the wielder of the Iron Fist has changed in comic history, as it seems it can be transferred from person to person.
Whether the claims are true is something that only Marvel Studios can confirm, but it would make sense for them to scrap everything in Marvel’s Iron Fist and begin with a clean slate so that they could take the series to new heights.
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Was Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix Really That Bad?
If Luke Cage taught us anything it’s that each Marvel Netflix series is different and not catered to everyone. Iron Fist (from Inhumans showrunner Scott Buck) was another example of this. While the series received a lot of heat for “whitewashing” and all sorts of other ridiculous accusations, it was ultimately a show dedicated to 80s and 90s kung-fu action fans.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where it’s become almost impossible to distinguish the truth from a lie. The internet has become a platform where biased and hateful journalists sell false stories and negative reviews to attract views. While it’s impossible to truly tell whether or not you’ll like something without investigating or experiencing it yourself, there are a handful of people who will have you believe that they’re experts at what’s good and bad. In short, Iron Fist was a lot better than most critics suggested.
The series told the story of Danny Rand (Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones), a martial arts expert who returns to New York after being presumed dead for many years. The only survivor of a plane crash which carried him and his billionaire parents, Rand was rescued by a group of monks from a mystical dimension called K’un-Lun, where he was trained to become the Iron Fist. Now, he must battle two groups of baddies to achieve his goals: a brother and sister who have taken over his family’s wealth and The Hand, the ancient enemy of K’un-Lun. Along the way, he befriends other martial artists (like Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing) and even comes into contact with Daredevil’s nurse Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
Off the bat, Danny’s origin story was a familiar mix of Batman and Green Arrow. It’s easy to draw comparisons between the three characters. Perhaps, it’s then more fitting then to compare it against the candy-coloured Arrow than any of the other Netflix shows.
Whereas Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones felt more like a 13-hour film, Iron Fist had more characteristics of a television show. This could mainly be felt in the directing of the 13 episodes. It’s missing the flair and the creative direction that made the previous shows big winners with the critics.
Episode 6, for example, was directed by Wu Tang’s RZA (responsible for some of the Kill Bill soundtrack and director of The Man with the Iron Fists). Despite RZA’s repertoire, his distinct style hasn’t made it into the episode. Instead, it all felt a little by the book.
That said, the fight sequences and most of the performances were on par with what we’ve seen from Marvel Television before. Finn Jones did a decent job as Danny Rand, although he was less magnetic than Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock or Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle.
However, like all the other shows, it was the bad guys who captured our full attention. Tom Pelphrey (Ward Meachum) and David Wenham (Harold Meachum) were great as the father and son duo and carry the most weight. They delivered convincing emotional performances that made you hate them and love them at the same time – something Marvel was able to do with villains like David Tennant’s Killgrave, Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk.
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If you watched these shows purely for comic book action, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of hallway fights (some of them pretty gruesome). Iron Fist was strongest when Danny Rand channelled his chi and went into full action mode. From the opening moments of the series, it became quite clear that he is the most skilled fighter amongst the Defenders. His acrobatic kicks and his fist-glowing punch were simply hypnotic.
The show would have been stronger had they just allowed more cameos from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Punisher. While a lot of the characters from those shows do crossover, the viewer is continually hoping and looking around every corner for a brief appearance from the other Defenders. It becomes incredibly frustrating, especially when they all know the same people and are all effectively fighting against the same enemies.
Iron Fist was by no means perfect – it did drag along in the middle, it was predictable, and the character’s choices could be frustrating – but it was certainly not a 17% as Rotten Tomatoes suggests. All those things were forgivable.
Both Iron First Season 1 and the second season had a lot of things going for them too. Most importantly, it was fun.
Let’s hope the Iron Fist reboot will learn from the mistakes the Netflix series made and deliver something that Marvel fans are excited about.
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Tell us, do you think Iron Fist should be rebooted in the MCU?