With Marvel and Netflix's first collaboration, Daredevil, managing to so thoroughly exceed expectations, hopes are high for the other super-heroic shows heading our way on the online streaming service. While a second season of Daredevil has now been confirmed, though, the larger part of that future line-up consists of three heroes we haven't yet seen on screen.
The Krysten Ritter-starring Jessica Jones is set for release later this year, which will also feature Mike Colter as love-interest (and superhero in his own right) Luke Cage, who'll be getting his own solo series in 2016. The third new hero, however, we're yet to hear all that much about - despite him being pretty heavily teased in Daredevil.
The big question, then?
What's Happening With Iron Fist?
After all, not only is he our fourth scheduled major Netflix hero, but he's also one of the most intriguing potential on-screen heroes we've yet seen. Y'see, Iron Fist - better known to his friends as Danny Rand - is a distinctly odd proposition.
The heir to a multi-billion dollar company, Iron Fist was in fact raised in the mystical city of K'un-L'un after being orphaned as a child. There, he became not only a master of martial arts, but the city's guardian, which in turn granted him the magical powers of the Iron Fist (most commonly manifested in the form of a yellow glow around his hand).
Upon his return to the USA, though, he teamed up with Luke Cage, and together they formed a crime-fighting team known as Heroes-for-Hire, and eventually ended up in the Avengers.
Which, a) is awesome, and b) would clearly make for a great series of Netflix shows.
So, What's the Problem?
Well, according to Birth. Movies. Death, the folks over at Marvel Studios are struggling to work out just what they want to do with the character, and his Netflix series:
"Marvel still hasn't decided what the direction of the show will be. They've brought in a lot of people to pitch, and have been having a lot of discussions, but so far nothing has stuck. My understanding is that one of the big hold-ups is the mystical element, with lots of different opinions on just how much weird wuxia to bring in to the show."
Or, in other words:
Marvel Isn't Sure How Much of Iron Fist's Comic-Book Origin to Use
Which, since it's an origin filled with both a whole lot of Kung Fu movie tropes, and a decent chunk of magic, makes a certain amount of sense. After all, Daredevil was consciously an incredibly grounded show, with realism a key watchword, and as that seems to be working, the temptation may naturally be to keep a similar tone for the rest of the shows.
That being said - Iron Fist is, by his very nature, an inherently mystical and magic-infused character. To adapt him without keeping a fair amount of it, then, would very much risk alienating the core fan-base - and with Doctor Strange set to bring magic to the MCU in 2016 anyway, it would seem an odd element to balk at.
Plus, if Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it's that audiences are totally OK with gritty, magic-infused shows...just so long as they're well-written and character-driven.
Here's hoping, then, that Marvel's uncertainty is just temporary, and that Iron Fist is on his way soon - though, from the sounds of it, he may have already missed the boat for a Netflix cameo anytime soon...