Iron Fist Season 1 left both Marvel and Netflix in a difficult place. On the one hand, the show was a remarkable success; although Netflix don't publish viewing figures, analysts are united in identifying it as the most-watched first season of a Marvel Netflix show to date. Unfortunately, that success didn't come with critical acclaim. Fans and critics alike were unimpressed, and Marvel's clearly learned some important lessons.
Chief among these? It seems that this time round, they're aiming to significantly improve the quality of the fight choreography. Finn Jones has revealed that he's due to start training for Season 2 next week. He told Inverse:
"Now, just gonna let you know, moving into Season 2 of Iron Fist, I’m actually starting my training next week. We’re at least four or five months away from shooting, so this time around, I’m being given a lot more preparation leading up to Season 2, which I think is really gonna have a huge improvement on the quality of the fight scenes in Season 2 of Iron Fist."
Why This Is A Sign Of Improvement For The Series
Danny Rand is supposed to be one of the Living Weapons, Marvel's ultimate martial artists. Unfortunately for Iron Fist Season 1, previous Marvel Netflix shows had raised the bar in terms of fight choreography — Iron Fist simply didn't live up to the challenge.
There's a sense in which this was inevitable. Marvel, rushing to get the series made didn't give Jones time to prepare. In fact, he'd often be walked through a scene's fight choreography just 15 minutes before shooting! Meanwhile, the fact Danny Rand didn't wear a mask added another layer of difficulty; it meant stunt doubles were used a lot less than in Daredevil, where the hero is masked during most key fight scenes:
Jones continued on-the-job training for The Defenders; he had to start filming on the ensemble series just a week after finishing filming on Iron Fist. What's more, as he told Inverse, most of that first week was spent in costume fittings and script read-throughs. By this time, though, he'd been doing this kind of fight choreography for six months, and as a result was a lot more confident with it. What's more, Marvel brought the fight choreographers from Daredevil on board for The Defenders, and Jones seems to have flourished under their tutelage.
Now, though, Marvel has wisely given Finn Jones a break. He has five or six months to prepare, and he's clearly viewing this as prep time. After playing the part of Danny Rand in two series, Jones has a good idea of the kind of stunts he'll be asked to perform, and he intends to make sure he has the skill level to pull them off — and make them look a whole lot cooler.
Another Intriguing Hint About The Future Of Iron Fist
Meanwhile, Finn Jones's quote will leave fans particularly excited because it confirms rumors that Marvel is planning to start filming this year. Most Marvel shows take between five and six months to film, and don't usually require heavy editing. With Marvel aiming to begin filming in November or December, there's a solid chance Netflix is planning to stream Iron Fist Season 2 in late 2018. Given Marvel is already shooting Luke Cage Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 2, with filming on Daredevil Season 3 to begin in October, it's actually possible we'll see Netflix release no less than four Marvel shows next year!
Fans will be delighted at the possibility. When Marvel first made their deal to create original content for Netflix, the plan was to release two a year, at six-month intervals. This year has already seen the streaming giant up that to three, with The Punisher due out in November, and it looks as though Netflix's plans are only continuing to accelerate. It's particularly appropriate given that 2018 is the ten-year anniversary of the wider MCU, which was launched with the release of Iron Man back in 2008.
Marvel fans will breathe a sight of relief at this news. While the first season of Iron Fist performed well in terms of views, it was something of a disappointment in terms of fight choreography. Even given their accelerated release schedule, it looks as though Marvel is giving Finn Jones the prep time to put that right. When we see Iron Fist Season 2, the hero's stunts should be a lot more impressive!
Which of the upcoming Marvel Netflix shows are you most excited about?