For months now it seems as though one of my favorite comic characters has been having trouble getting traction -- honestly, he's been stalling out. Iron Fist was originally intended to be a part of Marvel's four-part Defenders build-up including Daredevil, Jessica Jones & Luke Cage. Daredevil was met with incredible success and as it seems Jessica Jones is off and running and everything looked great for Marvel's venture onto Netflix.
Except, all is not well... Rumors began spreading that Marvel was having trouble adapting the character for TV --- which is understandable --- as Iron Fist would cross over from the purely physical force of Daredevil and shift into the metaphysical and spiritual forces that Danny Rand possesses. The rumors built up and eventually it became a fear that Iron Fist could get cancelled, but the newest little nugget to fall from the rumor mill is that Marvel is potentially looking to turn Iron Fist into a feature film rather than a series as well as bring the Punisher into the Defenders as the fourth member.
Well, that surely can't be a mistake then, right? --- At least they're not getting rid of Iron Fist; you might say. But, I think turning Iron First into a feature film would bea mistake, and here's why.
Character development would be thrown out the window.
Don't get me wrong, I totally think that Iron Fist is deserving of a big-budget, major motion picture film --- but not at the expense of building his legacy as a character. Danny Rand is a unique character in the world of Marvel in the sense that he focuses on his physical and mental well-being. His training and meditation is where he gathers his strength. He has a background similar to other heroes (child of wealthy parents who inherits the family business and money upon their untimely death) - yet he is raised in another world, K'un Lun, which was similar to a Tibetan monastery leading to his inner resolve to live for the basics of life rather than seeking out power and wealth and prestige. His 'character' is one of the main reasons why his character development is so necessary.
The groundwork has already started to be laid.
If you paid attention during Daredevil, you've seen the hints and clues that point to the story of Iron Fist. Madame Gao herself hinted towards her home being "a considerable distance" farther than China. I'd even go as far as to assume that Madame Gao is really Crane Mother: a long time adversary of Iron Fist as well as a defining piece of the mystic puzzle. We also saw the symbol of the Steel Serpent used quite obviously on the heroin packaging being manufactured in Hell's Kitchen - The Steel Serpent being another Iron Fist adversary who also has lengthy ties to the mystic city of K'un Lun.
Iron Fist has an established comic book background with the rest of the characters
Daredevil and Luke Cage both have a solid connection with the Iron Fist. -- For goodness sake -- Iron Fist posed as Daredevil to save Matt Murdock from being discovered as the real Daredevil, that alone should be enough reason to aid in the reasoning to introduce Iron Fist. Add in the Luke Cage and Heroes for Hire ties, and its clear to see the amount of tie-ins between shows and characters which only adds to the dynamics of the Defenders team.
Ultimately, regardless of my opinion Netflix and Marvel will come to their decision as to the fate of Iron Fist, but I think that the original plan to include Iron Fist as the final installment of the Defenders would be the most ideal for all parties concerned.