Last August our former E-I-C and super sleuth, Nicole Sobon, speculated that Ramon Rodriguez might be joining the cast of Marvel’s Iron Fist. Yesterday’s trailer put to rest any doubt that Rodriguez might not appear as he was front and center telling Danny that “change is coming” and to “become what he was meant to be.”
Rodriguez’s appearance in the trailer was surprising since there was no announcement of him joining the cast and he does not appear on the cast list at IMDB. However, with a little more digging, one can find that stunt man Jason Ng, who has done a good deal of stunt work for Marvel’s Netflix series, is credited as the stunt double for Rodriguez in episodes 9-12 of Iron Fist.
Two of those four episode titles (10 and 12) were not released with the others; the other two (9 and 11) are titled ‘The Mistress of All Agonies’ and ‘Lead Horse Back to Stables’. It’s possible that the reason for keeping those two episode titles from the press is that they may well spoil an important twist with quite a bit of time left before the series is released. While what follows is speculation, it is based on evidence and deductive reasoning and could, for the sensitive among you, be considered spoilers. If you’re sensitive to such things, we implore you to look away for what follows could possibly ruin an important late-in-the-game reveal. If you find yourself of such a constitution, do not proceed past the impressive title card below…
First the evidence, a word that here means an available body of facts indicating whether a proposition is valid.
While casting for the show, Marvel reached out to talent agencies to fill the following role:
Character Name: DEVON 25 – 30 yrs old, male, please submit Asian, East Indian, Pacific Islander, etc., handsome, effortlessly-powerful, an intelligent, thoughtful warrior. PLEASE NOTE IF TALENT HAS MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING / EXPERIENCE. (Series Regular.)
This is factual. I read the breakdown myself, along with many others (MOST of which were revealed to you by us). If you follow that link you’ll see that the other three characters turned out to be Colleen Wing, Ward Meachum and Joy Meachum. At the time, we believed that the character of DEVON was in fact, Davos, the Steel Serpent and arch-enemy of Danny Rand.
In April, we watched an audition video for the role of DEVON, which we reported here. Below if a transcript from the audition video that revealed some dialogue between DEVON (Davos) and DYLAN (Danny):
Davos: I should be so lucky to be like you, and not a precious snowflake like you who goes wherever the wind may take him. An honorable man who sees his goal and does everything he can to cheat that goal no matter the cost.
Danny: When you have one eye on the goal, and one on the power.
Davos: Don’t give me that second bullshit, you were given this gift.
Danny: I wasn’t given anything, what I have, I fought for, I earned it.
Davos: Yeah, right, earned it, you earned it, when things got what, confusing, hard? You took what wasn’t yours, what was rightfully mine, and ran away. Who does that? Why?
Davos: That’s why you don’t deserve anything, you have no honor, no sense of place in the world. In heart of hearts, you know what you are? A thief, a coward, if you have any honor at all, you’ll return what never should have been yours.
Fans of the Iron Fist comics will certainly recognize this rhetoric by Davos. In the books, Davos was raised and trained by his father, Lei Kung, to become the Iron Fist, the Immortal Weapon of K’un L’un. Davos could not complete the task at hand and was exiled to America. Following his defeat, Danny Rand, an orphaned outsider, became the Iron Fist. Davos, furious that an outsider took what was “rightfully his” swore vengeance on Rand and became the Steel Serpent. Aligning with the Meachums, the Steel Serpent plotted against Rand, attempting to steal the power of the Iron Fist.
If that chest tattoo looks familiar, it’s not because one of your gym bros is sporting it. You have seen it before and in context. When Daredevil first started investigating the drug trade in Season One, we caught our first glimpse and, almost as if to help us make the connection, it showed up again in the latest trailer:
Given all the contextual clues, one can only assume that Davos, Madame Gao (Crane Mother?) and, perhaps, the Meachums, are working together in NYC and that the arrival of the thought-to-be-dead Danny Rand is quite the distraction. Our belief is that the shot of in the trailer of Rodriguez and Jones is something along the lines of the reintroduction of Davos and Rand in America, revealing a classic Finkle is Einhorn situation: Rodriguez is Davos. While the line “become what you are meant to be” might sound like encouragement, it’s more likely Davos suggesting that Rand surrender the power of the Iron Fist to him.
The character of DEVON was cast as a series regular; however, in 4 consecutive episodes he is given a dedicated stunt double, indicating that the physical demand for the character reaches peak levels as the series reaches its climax. Given the last time we see Ng listed as a stunt double is in the untitled penultimate episode, it’s reasonable to wonder what will come of the feud between the two. Knowing that Iron Fist will almost directly lead into The Defenders, we can speculate the episode 12 may put a hold on Davos’ search for vengeance so that episode 13 can focus on the tie-in to the larger story that bring the Defenders of New York together.
In addition to what we’ve already laid out, I can deliver one more fact that you can consider. We have a first hand account from the set of the series in which Rodriguez was referred to as “yeah, Davos.” You can take or leave that piece and any and/or all of the others, but together, they lay out a pretty intriguing situation.
So that’s what we can lay out for you. We cannot definitively tell you that Ramon Rodriguez will portray Davos in Marvel’s Iron Fist. I cannot assure you that my evidence-based deductions will come to fruition. All we can say is that based on the facts, it seems reasonable to at least consider the possibility that Rodriguez will be bringing Davos to life. If you aren’t there, that’s fine, but at least you can consider what the title of the article says: Rodriguez will play a key role in Marvel’s Iron Fist.