Iron Fist (TV series)
|Created by||Scott Buck|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||New York City|
|Running time||50–61 minutes|
|Original release||March 17, 2017– present|
|Preceded by||Marvel's Luke Cage|
|Followed by||Marvel's The Defenders|
|Related shows||Marvel Cinematic Universe television series|
Marvel's Iron Fist, or simply Iron Fist, is an American web television series created for Netflix by Scott Buck, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise and is the fourth in a series of shows that lead to The Defenders crossover miniseries. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Devilina Productions and showrunner Buck for the first season. Raven Metzner took over as showrunner for the second season.
Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, and Sacha Dhawan also star, with Ramón Rodríguez, Rosario Dawson and David Wenham joining them for the first season, and Alice Eve being added to the cast in the second. After a film based on the character spent over a decade in development at Marvel Studios, development for the series began in late 2013 at Marvel Television, with Buck hired as the series showrunner in December 2015 and Jones cast as Rand in February 2016. Metzner was revealed as the series' new showrunner in July 2017. Filming for the series takes place in New York City.
All episodes of the first season premiered on March 17, 2017. They received generally negative reviews from critics. Despite the critical reception, third-party data analytics determined the series had strong viewership. A second season was ordered in July 2017, intended to be released in 2018.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Production
- 5 Release
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
After being presumed dead for 15 years, Danny Rand returns to New York City to reclaim his family company from Harold Meachum and his children Ward Meachum and Joy Meachum. When a threat emerges, Rand must choose between his family's legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
Cast and characters
- Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist:
A billionaire Buddhist monk and martial artist proficient in kung-fu, with the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist. Jones described the character as "someone struggling to find his identity", and identified with the character's loneliness being an orphan like Rand. He noted that "Danny gets really stressed and really pissed off sometimes, and I understand that ... [his] optimism and where that comes from." In preparation for the role, Jones studied kung fu, wushu, and tai chi, along with weight training, Buddhist philosophy, and meditation. Toby Nichols portrays a young Danny Rand.
- Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing:
A martial artist ally of Rand who runs her own martial arts dojo called Chikara Dojo in New York City. Henwick felt the most defining word for Wing was "alone", saying, "She doesn't want to be anyone's love interest and open herself up in that way." Henwick also tried "to pull out that sort of very dry humor that [Wing] has, and that no bullshit New Yorker demeanor" from the comics version in her portrayal.
- Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum:
The son of Harold and childhood acquaintance of Rand, whose work building up Rand Enterprises with his sister Joy is threatened to be undone with Rand's return. Ward is a character from the comics, though Pelphrey noted "we're not necessarily beholden to representing him [in the series] exactly as he appears in the comic book." Stroup said that Ward would experience some "male angst" on Rand's return, because "Ward would have been the one who picked on [Rand] when he was little so as pure and innocent and great as Iron Fist is, he comes in and he causes some problems" there. Ilan Eskenazi portrays a teenage Ward Meachum.
- Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum:
The daughter of Harold and childhood acquaintance of Rand, whose work building up Rand Enterprises with her brother Ward is threatened to be undone with Rand's return. Stroup said that Joy "absolutely loves" Rand, and his return to New York is "like this rebirth of what she once was, and she gets to ask these questions about herself because he's posing them to her." Stroup said that Joy would initially be unsure whether Rand is who he says he is. Aimee Laurence portrays a young Joy Meachum.
- Ramón Rodríguez as Bakuto: A leader of a faction of The Hand and Colleen Wing's sensei.
- Sacha Dhawan as Davos:
A skilled martial artist who is the son of Lei Kung and Rand's former best friend in K'un-Lun, who grew envious when Rand became the Iron Fist. Although Dhawan first appeared in the ninth episode of the first season, Dhawan noted that the majority of Davos' storyline was intended to be explored in a potential second season.
- Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple: A former nurse from Hell's Kitchen who joins Wing's dojo. Dawson reprises her role from previous Marvel Netflix series.
- David Wenham as Harold Meachum:
A ruthless corporate leader and co-founder of Rand Enterprises who was partners with Rand's parents at the time of their deaths. Regarding Harold's relationship with his children, Joy and Ward, Wenham said the dynamic between the three of them "is complex, to say the least. It's multilayered, it’s multidimensional, it's surprising and it’s forever changing, depending on the circumstances."
Season 1 (2017)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Snow Gives Way"||John Dahl||Scott Buck||March 17, 2017|
|2||"Shadow Hawk Takes Flight"||John Dahl||Scott Buck||March 17, 2017|
|3||"Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch"||Tom Shankland||Quinton Peeples||March 17, 2017|
|4||"Eight Diagram Dragon Palm"||Miguel Sapochnik||Scott Reynolds||March 17, 2017|
|5||"Under Leaf Pluck Lotus"||Uta Briesewitz||Cristine Chambers||March 17, 2017|
|6||"Immortal Emerges from Cave"||RZA||Dwain Worrell||March 17, 2017|
|7||"Felling Tree with Roots"||Farren Blackburn||Ian Stokes||March 17, 2017|
|8||"The Blessing of Many Fractures"||Kevin Tancharoen||Tamara Becher-Wilkinson||March 17, 2017|
|9||"The Mistress of All Agonies"||Jet Wilkinson||Pat Charles||March 17, 2017|
|10||"Black Tiger Steals Heart"||Peter Hoar||Quinton Peeples||March 17, 2017|
|11||"Lead Horse Back to Stable"||Deborah Chow||Ian Stokes||March 17, 2017|
|12||"Bar the Big Boss"||Andy Goddard||Scott Reynolds||March 17, 2017|
|13||"Dragon Plays with Fire"||Stephen Surjik||Scott Buck & Tamara Becher-Wilkinson & Pat Charles||March 17, 2017|
A second season was ordered in July 2017, with Simone Missick revealed to be joining the series, reprising her role of Misty Knight from previous Marvel Netflix series. Filming for the season began in December 2017.
An Iron Fist film had been in development at Marvel Studios since 2000, originally to be co-financed by Artisan Entertainment. Ray Park was hired to star, but the project went through multiple directors and ultimately did not come to fruition. Development continued after Marvel Studios began to self-finance their films in the middle of the decade, with Marvel hiring a group of writers to develop some of their "lesser-known properties", including Iron Fist. In 2010, Rich Wilkes was hired to write a new draft for the film, and by May 2013, Iron Fist was said to be one of the "projects on the horizon" for Marvel.
In October 2013, Deadline reported that Marvel Television was preparing four drama series and a miniseries, totaling 60 episodes, to present to video on demand services and cable providers, with Netflix, Amazon, and WGN America expressing interest. A few weeks later, Marvel and Disney announced that Marvel Television and ABC Studios would provide Netflix with live action series centered around Iron Fist, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries based on the Defenders. In April 2015, the official title was revealed to be Marvel's Iron Fist. That November, Marvel Television head and executive producer Jeph Loeb addressed unconfirmed rumors that Marvel was having a difficult time balancing Iron Fist's mystical elements in its grounded world, and that the series could be replaced with a film or a Punisher series. He explained that Marvel and Netflix deliberately held off on Iron Fist news until Marvel's Jessica Jones premiered so that series, revolving around a character largely unknown to the general audience, got the spotlight. Loeb promised that news on a showrunner would be coming, and Marvel announced that Scott Buck would serve in the role a month later. The series was originally intended to be the third of the announced series from Netflix, debuting after Jessica Jones, but was switched with Marvel's Luke Cage after Luke Cage became a breakout star of Jessica Jones and Marvel wanted to "follow the momentum". John Dahl, Cindy Holland, Allie Goss, Alison Engel, Kris Henigman, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Jim Chory, Loeb and Buck serve as executive producers on the series.
A second season was announced in July 2017, with Raven Metzner announced as the new showrunner for the season, replacing Buck. Loeb felt Metzner's "love of all things Iron Fist and his extensive knowledge of martial arts films made him the perfect choice" to serve as the new showrunner.
Each episode of the first season is named after a kung-fu move. Buck stated the series would have a lighter tone to it than the previous Marvel Netflix series, given that "Danny Rand himself is a much lighter character. He's someone that has optimism and hope, and despite whatever the odds are, everything is always going to work out."
On first discovering Rand's powers, Buck described them as "not the greatest superpowers. All he can do is punch really hard ... 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." The writers and producers approached "scientists to discuss how someone could potentially have that type of super strength in the real world." Loeb described the series as "Marvel’s foray into martial arts films", and Buck stated that the comics were just "a starting-off point" for the series, which would be "very grounded [and] character driven". Jones felt the series was "actually a feminist television show" calling the female characters "incredibly strong, incredibly unique, and they really hold the men up in that world... All the men in our show are falling apart. They need these women to hold them up".
Casting for Iron Fist began by November 2015, with Finn Jones being cast as Danny Rand / Iron Fist in February 2016, but not officially confirmed by Marvel until March. On casting Jones, Buck said, "we saw him and I think we all just knew immediately this is our guy... He just seemed to be able to display [the character's youthful optimism and badass attitude] when needed and sometimes all at once, so he was very capable and flexible as he brought the character to life." By April, Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey were cast as Colleen Wing, Harold Meachum, Joy Meachum, and Ward Meachum, respectively, and by June, Sacha Dhawan had been cast as Davos, though he was not revealed to be in the role until March 2017. In October 2016, it was revealed that Rosario Dawson would reprise her role of Claire Temple from previous Marvel/Netflix series. Ramón Rodríguez also stars as Bakuto.
Stephanie Maslansky is the costume designer for Iron Fist, after serving the same role for the previous Marvel Netflix series. Maslansky noted one of the differences in the series compared to the other Marvel Netflix series was the neighborhoods it spent time in ("the wealthier neighborhoods; Midtown, Upper East Side, that sort of thing") compared to Hell's Kitchen for Daredevil and Jessica Jones and Harlem for Luke Cage. As such, Rand wears more suits than the other heroes, and given the amount of fighting he does in the series, a lot of spandex was added to increase the suits' flexibility. The monk costumes and Rand's warrior costume was based on "real Shaolin warrior monk costumes... I took that distinctive silhouette from the Shaolin warrior monk clothing, and we combined it with the traditional colors of the Iron Fist, green and gold." The series opening title sequence was created by Elastic.
Filming for the series takes place in New York City, in addition to sound stage work. Manuel Billeter served as director of photography for the series, after doing the same for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, and Brett Chan is the series' stunt-coordinator and second unit director. Iron Fist was filmed in high dynamic range (HDR), which Billeter stated added "a learning curve" to his work, forcing him to rethink how he would shoot certain scenes.
In late October 2016, Trevor Morris was revealed to be composing the music for the series. A soundtrack album featuring Morris's score for the first season was released by Marvel digitally on March 17, 2017, coinciding with the release of the series.
Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins
Iron Fist is the fourth of the ordered Netflix series, after Marvel's Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, which lead to the miniseries, The Defenders. In November 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that if the characters prove popular on Netflix, "It’s quite possible that they could become feature films," which Sarandos echoed in July 2015. In August 2014, Vincent D'Onofrio, Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, stated that after the "series stuff with Netflix", Marvel has "a bigger plan to branch out". In March 2015, Loeb spoke on the ability for the series to crossover with the MCU films and the ABC television series, saying, "It all exists in the same universe. As it is now, in the same way that our films started out as self-contained and then by the time we got to The Avengers, it became more practical for Captain America to do a little crossover into Thor 2 and for Bruce Banner to appear at the end of Iron Man 3. We have to earn that. The audience needs to understand who all of these characters are and what the world is before you then start co-mingling in terms of where it's going."
Iron Fist is available on the streaming service Netflix, in all territories where it is available, in Ultra HD 4K and HDR. The episodes for each season were released simultaneously, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, a format which has been successful for other Netflix original series.
Disney Consumer Products created a small line of products to cater to a more adult audience, given the show’s edgier tone. Paul Gitter, senior VP of Marvel Licensing for Disney Consumer Products explained that the focus would be more on teens and adults than very young people, with products at outlets like Hot Topic. Additionally, a Marvel Knights merchandise program was created to support the series, which creates new opportunities for individual product lines and collector focused products. Licensing partners wanted to pair up with Marvel, despite this not being a film project, given its previous successes.
As Netflix does not reveal subscriber viewership numbers for any of their original series, Karim Zreik, senior vice president of original programming at Marvel Television, provided some viewership demographics for Iron Fist in August 2017, noting that the series has attracted mainly younger viewers. Also in the month, Netflix released viewing patterns for the Marvel Netflix series. The data, which came from Netflix's "1,300 'taste communities' around the world, where subscribers are grouped based on what they watch", showed that viewers would not watch the series in chronological order by release, rather starting with Jessica Jones, then Daredevil, Luke Cage and finally Iron Fist. Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, noted that audiences watch the series "in order of how they're interested in them and how they learn about them." Netflix's data also showed that a viewer watching Luke Cage would most often then move on to Iron Fist, while other series with "coming-of-tales" such as 13 Reasons Why, Love and The 100 led viewers to starting Iron Fist.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported the first season has a 17% approval rating with an average rating of 4.2/10 based on 63 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Despite some promising moments, Iron Fist is weighed down by an absence of momentum and originality." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 37 out of 100 based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
|2018||Saturn Awards||Best New Media Superhero Series||Iron Fist||Nominated|||
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