With the release Friday of “Jessica Jones,” Marvel officially expands its Netflix superhero roster to two of the expected four. While casting and introductions for three of the four characters have already been accomplished, the studio is dragging its feet when it comes to Iron Fist, prompting many fans to believe the project has been either scrapped or changed.
That isn’t the case, according to Marvel Studios' Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, who recently dispelled rumors that Marvel and Netflix were retooling the “Iron Fist” TV series in favor of one starring Jon Bernthal’s Punisher. It was initially announced that heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would each be getting 13-episode stand-alone series. After each hero debuted, they’d join forces in a crossover, “The Defenders.”
However, “Daredevil,” starring Charlie Cox, already premiered its first season, and “Jessica Jones,” starring Krysten Ritter, comes out Friday and promises to make Luke Cage (Mike Colter) a key character ahead of his own series in 2016. Meanwhile, virtually nothing has been said about “Iron Fist.” In fact, the studio hasn’t even cast an actor for the part. This has prompted many to think something's amiss with the studio’s plans for the martial arts-leaning comic book hero.
According to a rumor that began on Peel the Orange, Marvel would be scrapping the “Iron Fist” TV show in favor of a Netflix original movie. The series would then go to Bernthal’s character and he’d be the fourth member of the Defenders. Fortunately for Iron Fist/Danny Rand fans, that’s not what’s happening.
“Where did you read these rumors? Oh, they were on the Internet? So they must be true!” Quesada told IGN at the “Jessica Jones” red carpet premiere.
While it seemed as though he was shutting down rumors that “Iron Fist” is being retooled, he didn't give specifics as to what’s holding the process up. Meanwhile, he did share some words about the possibility of the Punisher getting an extended role after his introduction in “Daredevil” Season 2.
“I think we’d love to see something happen, but it’s way too soon to tell and we don’t necessarily like to discuss which metrics we use to decide these things. What I can tell you is that anyone who is a hardcore ‘Punisher’ fan is going to be blown away and incredibly satisfied by Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle. It’s one of those cases where it’s the character from the pages come to life.”
It’s unclear what’s keeping the studio from introducing its Iron Fist, despite the character being heavily teased throughout the first season of “Daredevil.” One possibility is that the comic book giant is delaying pushing the character into the public conversation until the November 2016 release of the movie “Doctor Strange,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The film is expected to introduce the concept of magic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that all these properties are a part of. With Iron Fist’s origins so heavily rooted in the world of mysticism, it’s possible the studio is hoping to introduce him after “Doctor Strange” sets the stage.
While fans wait for news of Danny Rand and his magical powers, they can binge-watch “Jessica Jones” on Netflix starting Friday.