Marvel studios have had success after success when deciding to create their cinematic universe both on TV and the movies. Even risky properties like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy have found success. After the surprising success these two movies saw, people started to believe that Marvel could make money on any of their properties. Yet, there is one property that I worry about, and that's Iron Fist.
Iron Fist is a very different character created by Marvel during a trend in the early to mid-1970s of martial arts heroes. He has been in a number comics since then from his own titles to Heroes for Hire to The Avengers to The Thunderbolts and more.
Iron Fist's Origin, like many comic book characters, has changed several times but I'll try to keep it simple, his father Wendell Rand discovered the mystical city of K'un-L'un a city that only appears every 10 years. During his time in K'un L'un, Wendell saved the life of the city's ruler and was adopted by him. However, Wendell eventually left K'un L'un and some how became a wealthy entrepreneur in the United States. He married socialite Heather Duncan and had a child, Daniel (Iron Fist).
When Daniel was nine his father tried to take him, his mother and his father's business partner Harold to K'un L'un. But the journey there was brutal and through several events including an avalanche, Harold betraying the family and letting Wendall die (and then fleas back to new york) and being attacked by wolves (which kill his mother tring to protect her child).Daniel is the only one who survived and is rescued by the Monks of K'un L'un.
When Daniel expresses his desire for vengeance, Lei Kung, the Thunderer, decides to teaches him the martial arts. Daniel proved himself to be the most gifted of Lei Kung's students. At 19, he is selected to have the chance to attain the power of the Iron Fist by fighting and defeating the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying. After managing to kill Shou-Lao, he enters its cave and plunges his fists into a brazier containing the creature's molten heart, emerging with the power of the Iron Fist. It is later revealed that Daniel is part of a long lineage of Iron Fists. When K'un L'un reappears on Earth after 10 years, Daniel leaves to find his father's killer and after confronting him he has to face his complete opposite the Steel Serpent.
That synopsis was just a general round up of the character's origins and it is already clear to see why this property is already difficult to transform into live action for several reasons. But the fact it is very mystical in nature isn't one of them. So far magic and other dimensions haven't been introduced into the larger cinematic universe but will with Doctor Strange in late 2016. Iron Fist and Dr Strange should theoretically be released around the same time, so they will help each other out.
The main problems come from some of the story, like how his father somehow becomes multi-millionaire CEO of a business after leaving this mystical city he lived in for 80% of his life. Which is arguable that its a important part of his story because Iron Fist has to get his company back so that is a difficult thing to overcome.
Another Problem is Shou-Lao (the dragon) that gives him the power of the Iron Fist. Like I said before it's alright to go mystical with the character but the whole fighting a undying dragon then putting his hands into its molten heart which for some reason isn't in his body is a little over the top - especially when it has to fit in the same universe as Daredevil. But that doesn't mean it has to be completely changed but it instead being a kind of spirit journey/hallucination which may or may not be real, would be one way to get around this.'
The only other issues this property faces are:
- His villain is the evil version of him and that has been done plenty of times before
- There doesn't seem a lot of "meat" to the story
- He's extremely over powered with over 20 powers/abilities
- In terms of the fight scenes, it can't be too similar to Daredevil
- As most of the Netflix shows are doing there has to be a connection to the other shows i.e Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage which means they have to somehow fit into the same story
Now, every Marvel project has had its own risks. But each one has a logical beginning, middle and end; something which Netflix will struggle to find for Iron Fist. And have to create a new story involving his characters/villains which isn't a carbon copy of Daredevil, which is a HUGE risk on their part