As we near the end of the year, we’re starting to see an uptick in marketing for the upcoming Iron Fist series, which isn’t set to hit Netflix until March 17th. Just yesterday we revealed a new batch of photos from the series which included not only Danny Rand, played by actor Finn Jones, but also Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). Now today, courtesy of the folks over at Gadget 360, we have a new interview with series showrunner Iron Fist and the VP of Original Series at Netflix, Allie Goss, where they discuss the highly anticipated series, including the white savior backlash that continued to grow following the casting of Jones as the titular character. The interview also briefly touched on The Defenders, the mini-series that’ll see all four of our Defenders come together for the first time on the small screen. (You can read more about all of that at the source!)
Iron Fist has been embroiled in controversy ever since the Netflix show was first announced by Marvel. Before Iron Fist star Finn Jones was cast in the title role, there were many online petitions urging Marvel to remake the character as Asian-American. The primary concern of these petitions was similar to the early controversy surrounding Doctor Strange: primarily that the show would center around a white man learning from Asian cultures to become a superhero. Buck responded to the controversy and gave some clarification.
When Marvel came to me with this idea, I’d never heard of Iron Fist or Danny Rand. I had never read the comics. What [Marvel TV head] Jeph Loeb pitched me specifically was this character Danny Rand, and that was the story that pulled me in. That intrigued me. So the other aspects I only learned about afterwards, and I can say most definitively Danny Rand is no white savior. He’s trying to save himself, if anything.
Goss also gave some minor details regarding how they go about picking the villains for these shows.For Goss, and the rest of the folks involved, it’s important to see if these villains will be right for the story that they are attempting to tell early on.
How it works is, that Scott [Buck] or other showrunners – when they are working on the development of the project – they come in and pitch what they think is the season going to be. They’ve gone through the process with Marvel to clear characters. And then we talk about whether that’s the right setup and whether it makes sense.
Goss and Buck also chimed in regarding Danny Rand’s powers. Fans of the character will note that Iron Fist’s powers are unlike the other Defenders, as they have their roots in mysticism. Buck and Goss detailed how they would show Danny’s powers in the series, as well as attempt to keep it more grounded.
Buck:To me when I first encountered the character, it seemed these were like not the greatest superpowers. All he can do is punch really hard. That’s sort of what appealed to me about it – he has this one gift, you can use it in some ways but in rest of his life, it’s not really all that significant. His greatest gift is his martial arts skills, and that’s something he suffered and worked for.
Goss:Through all Marvel shows, it’s about a great character story first, and a superhero story second. We don’t want to downplay powers or abilities, or the fact these characters are derived from comics and graphic novels because that’s what’s so special about them, but we want to expose those in a way that’s little more aimed towards adults, and lets us explore these people beyond just these superhero, which feels so generic given how deep these characters have the ability to be.
Unlike a character such as Stephen Strange, whose powers are rooted in magic, Buck wanted to portray Iron Fist’s powers as if they were actually obtainable in real life. Instead of receiving schooling on how to cast spells, Iron Fist’s powers have to deal more with transforming your chi, or spiritual energy, into a more physical aspect.
Buck: We are schooled well in ways that it [the superpowers] could happen if this happened, and this happened, and that happened. It’s about approaching it in a grounded way, and not that it’s magic.
Iron Fist will premiere on March 17th, 2017. Check out the full interview at the source below, as the showrunner has more interesting details to impart regarding the show’s Netflix distribution!
Source Gadget 360.