It has been a good year for the partnership between Marvel and Netflix. In the spring, they launched their first series, Daredevil, to such a high level of critical and fan acclaim that the second season is already in production. Last month the world was introduced to Jessica Jones, a little known character from the pages of the comics and a new MCU hero was created. That series also saw the introduction of Luke Cage to the Marvel cinematic universe and his own series is currently filming with Cheo Hodari Coker serving as show runner. The last solo series on the docket is Iron Fist, before all 4 series combine in a superhero team-up event and group known in the pages of the comics as The Defenders.
There has been a lot of conflicting rumors about the status of Iron Fist. So much so, that we refused to report on it until we got to the bottom of it. However last week Deadline gave reassurance to Marvel fans everywhere, when they announced that Scott Buck (Dexter) had been hired as Iron Fist's show runner. Jessica Jones's Melissa Rosenberg also was a lead on Dexter, so it shows that there should be a little more continuity behind the scenes also. Here is how Deadline described the Iron Fist project in their most recent report:
Iron Fist focuses on Daniel Rand and his return to New York City after being missing for four years. The series follows Rand as he fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the power of the fiery Iron Fist.
Not many details on the show have been uncovered... until now. Our sources indicate that the Iron Fist show is moving through pre-production with a tentative shoot date set for around April in New York. The project is going under the working title "Kick." Not only that, casting on the series has already begun, with character breakdowns of two primary characters recently surfacing. Here are the descriptions of two series regulars for the upcoming Marvel series.
25 - 28 yrs old Handsome and sophisticated, independent and a loner. SERIES REGULAR
45 - 50 yrs old Caucasian, highly intelligent, merciless, confident and arrogant, physically active. SERIES REGULAR
The names are often scrambled in pre-production, much like the working title of a project, so let's try and speculate on exactly who will be in the upcoming series.
It's safe to assume that Dylan Kendall is the stand-in name for Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist. Rand possesses all of those listed qualities, but there is no mention of required athleticism or martial arts training. However with a masked character like Iron Fist, it will be easy to substitute stuntmen for his fight scenes. So hopefully they find an actor capable of channeling not only Rand's inner Chi, but also his repressed rage.
It's also worth noting that they are looking for a Caucasian for the role of "Marshall," while it's not mentioned for the normally blond haired Rand. (Assuming that is the role of "Kendall.") However, all that simply means is that casting is open to a wide variety of submissions and that they are looking for an actor that most truthfully embodies the character. It doesn't necessarily mean that they intend to go in any particular direction.
The second role is a little more ambiguous, but judging by the syntax of the name, age, and the breakdown, the most likely fit for "Harry Marshall" is Harold Meachum. In Iron Fist's origin story, Meachum was one of four members on an expedition to K'un-L'un. The other members beings Danny, his mother Heather Duncan, and father Wendell Rand, who were betrayed by a jealous and power-hungry Meachum. He allowed Wendell to fall to his death in an effort to take over his company and to steal his wife, Heather, from him. Heather and young Danny escape only for her to get killed by wolves. Danny makes it to K'un-L'un alone and vows revenge on the man who sabotaged his family.
The description of a physically fit man of his age certainly fits the bill. However in the comics, when Iron Fist tracks down Meachum as an adult, he learns that he was badly frost-bitten in the same altercation and had his legs amputated. In any case, the character is rich with dramatic potential and will certainly figure into the series somehow.
If the role of "Marshall" is actually the villain of the series, it could potentially be Davos, also known as the Steel Serpent. He trained and was a native of K'un-L'un, before being exiled. He is a notable adversary because of his shared history in the mystical land and he also managed to find a way to drain Rand's Iron Fist power for himself. If they do decide to utilize this character in the series, he could offer an enemy who is on equal footing with the hero.
Another character within the realm of possibility is Orson Randall. He previously held the mantle of Iron Fist, and as Rand eventually finds out, was the person who trained his father in martial arts. The character was introduced in Immortal Iron Fist #1 and has proven to be a badass in his own right. So much so, that he infuses his Chi into his Smith and Wesson handguns. While this is a long shot selection, he could serve as a mentor to Rand once he is in New York and could further his training. Additionally, this could function as a huge twist in the series as well.
It's all speculation when it comes to which characters are filling the described roles. However, there is another character and actress who we can confirm is expected to join Iron Fist as well...
Carrie Anne Moss is also attached to return as Jeri Hogarth, who was gender-swapped from the comics and recently introduced in the first season of Jessica Jones. This is clearly a no-brainer. As her character in the comics is the lawyer that tends to the Rand estate when Danny's father is killed. The character also monitors Iron Fist's activities once Rand makes it back to the states. Hogarth's connection to Jessica Jones also makes the eventual path to the Defenders that much easier to navigate as well.
It looks as if the blueprint for The Defenders, is nearly complete, as the ball has clearly begun rolling full-speed ahead for Iron Fist.