With NYCC ’16 upon us, it’s time to get hyped for Marvel’s next foray into the Netflix world: Iron Fist. Marvel has an Iron Fist panel this evening and has been whetting fan appetites all week in preparation for the event. As part of the coverage, Collider interviewed stars Finn Jones, Jessica Stroup, David Wenham and Tom Pelphrey as well as showrunner Scott Buck and Marvel’s TV boss Jeph Loeb. While the crew wasn’t about to give away secrets of the show 5 months ahead of release, they gave us enough to chew on over that time and the theme was this: don’t expect an exact interpretation from the comics.
While we may not get every beat from the comics, make no mistake that Marvel intends to deliver a kickass martial arts series that stands apart from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Punisher, according to Loeb:
“First of all, it was always our intent when we set out to tell each of the Netflix stories that they’re part of a piece, but at the same token, you should be able to watch each of them individually. Daredevil is not like Jessica Jones, which is not like Luke, which should not be like Danny. The first part is very exciting to us, and the second part, which is rather obvious, which is because we’re dealing with a character who is younger than the rest of the cast, and who also has a certain kind of optimism and hope about him that brings a certain thing to it. Don’t make any mistake about it, this is Marvel’s foray into martial arts films, and when he opens up a can of whoop-ass, people are going to be super-super excited by what’s happening.”
David Wenham, who will play Harold Meachum, a business partner of Danny’s father and father to Danny’s childhood friends Joy and Ward, added to Loeb’s comments on how closely the show will run to the comics:
“Well, I think not just the characters, but also the narrative within the show, it’s certainly been influenced and based very heavily on the comic books, but both Scott Buck, the showrunner, and Jeph Loeb, “Mr. Marvel,” has taken all those meaty basics, but also then infused it with their contemporary imagination and then taken it into different areas as well, which I think is very exciting. So there’s a mix of both—a mix of stuff that you will recognize and a mix of stuff that will be new and different and hopefully very palatable and fantastic and exciting.”
It seems that much as in the comics, the tragic events that lead to Danny becoming an orphan at a young age will be the jumping off point for the character. Loeb said:
“We began from a very, very real world place which is that when Danny was ten years old, he disappears and the world believes that he’s dead, and so when he turns up at the very beginning of the show at the age of 25 and says, ‘Hi, I’m Danny Rand, billionaire,’ the rest of the world goes, ‘Maybe not so much.’ A lot of it is about a journey of finding self, not just in terms of who his character is, but in terms of what he wants to be as far as ‘Who is Danny Rand? What is the Iron Fist?’ and then, ‘How do these things get together?”
Jones spoke to how he channeled the events to make his Danny Rand come to life:
“Well, I just keep the characters rooted in real as possible. I imagine that the character was orphaned when he was ten years old, he lost his parents, he’s been living in a monastery under harsh conditions for the last 15 years. I just put that reality to me, and if someone went through this, how would he be? What kind of man would he be?’ And just really kind of rooted it in reality and just played the truth of the character and the circumstance in which he finds himself.”
As Danny comes back from the dead, it seems he may find the world, and his place in it, much changed. Jones said of his resurrection:
“Yeah, everything has consequence, you know? It’s important to remember that I may have a fist that lights up and I can punch people really hard, but what are the consequences of having that power? What are the consequences of coming back and not knowing who you are and seeing your childhood best friend for the first time and not being able to connect to her, because she’s a completely different person. What are the consequences of that? What is the reality of that? Just kind of asking questions and keeping it real, as all the other shows do.”
That best friend, Joy Meachum, doesn’t have a ton of source material from the comics, but according to Jessica Stroup, who will portray her in the series, we should expect a large role in the series,”I immediately went and searched for Joy Meachum? Where is she? Where is Joy? Her look? She’s blonde. Oh, she’s cute, okay. Is she good, is she bad? Very little of Joy… but not on the TV show, there’s more Joy. Watch out!“
Feel free to head over to Collider for the rest of the interview, but it seems clear from it that Marvel has a new vision for Iron Fist. As Finn Jones said, “I’m not trying to be any Iron Fist that’s been before. I am my own Iron Fist.”
Marvel’s Iron Fist will air on Netflix beginning March 17, 2017!