The countdown to the next Marvel/Netflix show is on, with about five months to the premiere of Iron Fist. Last week at New York Comic Con the cast of the show did a round of interviews on the recently wrapped project. CBR has published their sit down with Finn Jones and Jessica Stroup and they dealt mostly with the person of Danny Rand. What makes this character unique according to Jones?
The best thing about Danny Rand is that he has these huge, massive contradictions…One half of him is… trying to be a super-centered martial artist and warrior, and the other half is a livewire, suffering from trauma, riddled with PTSD. So you’ve got those two contradictions that are constantly battling each other.
Jones then went on and tied that contradiction into the eastern and western cultural experiences the character has had. The balance of the character will be interesting. At times the comics have portrayed Danny in very different ways. Ed Brubaker‘s Immortal Iron Fist run was rather serious. Danny is a business man trying to keep control of his own life but also is weighed down with the mystical politics of K’un Lun. That run is stoic and even brooding at times. More recently, the revival of Power Man and Iron First paints Danny as a non-stop jokester, bouncing off the wall of his more serious foil, Luke Cage. The characters are hardly the same. It sounds like Jones is using these desperate elements and combining them a bit into a man torn between two natures.
You start the show and you’re like, ‘Who the f*** is this guy?’ And also, Danny doesn’t know who himself is as well. He’s a lost soul. He lost his parents when he was ten years old, he was living in a monastery in very harsh conditions for fifteen years… He’s troubled. He’s a really troubled character, and he’s asking questions that every twenty-five-year-old asks: ‘Who am I? What is my reason here?’ And he’s the Iron Fist as well, so he’s got even more responsibility that he’s trying to grapple with. Most of the show is Danny trying to figure out what his place is in the world, who he is, where does he fit in and who does he identify with.
This version of Iron Fist is obviously skewing young. Part of the drama of the series will be his attempts to understand himself and to come of age. This is a great element for the series to bring into the mix of the plot. Danny’s youth will be a helpful way to differentiate him from other characters in the Netflix shows and provide a different vibe. The naiveté and fish-out-of-water aspect of the character should also help in the show’s lighter tone. Looking back over the history of the MCU, almost all the characters have been middle aged, so a 25-year-old hero will be interesting.
The Netflix MCU shows have tended to speak to larger issues. Jessica Jones dealt with consent and PTSD, while Luke Cage tackled race issues and policing. Iron Fist is set to deal with questions of corporate responsibility, according to Stroup.
I like the questions and the challenges that your character brings up as the show goes on…It plays out in real life, where you’ve got corporations who are polluting environments and you’ve got stuff even in my home state of North Carolina; there was some power plant that was having big issues. The idea of a character coming in who is so pure at heart and does have this… and he pushes the boundaries of, ‘Well, let’s change the way the status quo has always been.
A staple of some other comic properties (Batman and Iron Man come to mind) is the fight between the hero and the corporate shenanigans going on in their company. That element will be in Iron Fist. Obviously, the drama will be heightened as Danny has to prove his place given his age and years of disappearance. For more on this and other things Iron Fist check out the CBR link below.
Are you excited for Iron Fist? What sort of Danny Rand is your favorite, the serious warrior or the wise-cracking smart aleck? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Iron Fist hits Netflix on March 17, 2017.