On top of being the first Marvel/Netflix series to get a bunch of negative reviews prior to its release date, Marvel’s Iron Fist is also dealing with some controversy regarding the race of the main character — not all that different from some criticism received by its cousin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange. Marvel received some criticism for casting actress Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, because many fans believed the role should have been filled by an Asian actor, whether male or female. Not only do Netflix and Marvel Studios have to deal with the early negative reviews, but they’re also receiving some recycled complaints that the lead role in Iron Fist wasn’t filled by an Asian actor.
As reported by Inquisitr, the early reviews for Marvel’s Iron Fist were surprisingly negative, especially considering how well Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage did before it. Many critics have called the show bland, while star Finn Jones has indirectly blamed President Donald Trump for people instinctively having a distaste for a white, straight, American male billionaire (despite the continued success of superheroes with similar qualities, like Iron Man, Batman and Green Arrow).
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However, just as Doctor Strange received some criticism for casting Caucasian actress Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, some Marvel Comics fans wanted to see the lead role in Iron Fist played by an actor of Asian ethnicity. That may seem like a strange request for some, considering that Danny Rand was portrayed as Caucasian in the source Marvel Comics.
Is Iron Fist Asian On Netflix?
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed Daniel Rand of Marvel Comics is being played by Finn Jones, best known for playing Loras Tyrell in over 20 episodes of Game of Thrones. For fans unfamiliar with GoT, the trailer below shows Jones as Iron Fist, clearly a Caucasian actor.
So, why did some fans want to see Iron Fist played by an Asian actor? In a nutshell, they believed it would help avoid some of the outdated tropes present in the 1970s comic, and thought it would be beneficial to show Danny Rand reconnecting with his Asian heritage, rather than appropriating it as an outsider. It’s an argument that first came up in 2014, and is being brought back to light now that the show is about to premiere on Netflix.
Is Iron Fist Asian In Marvel Comics?
While Danny Rand is the character most commonly associated with the Iron Fist moniker, he was not the only person from Marvel Comics to wield the power and the title. Some of them have been Asian — including Wu Ao-Shi, a female Iron Fist — but not all of them.
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An argument could be made, for the sake of continuity, that the Ancient One in Doctor Strange should have been played by an Asian actor, since the character was portrayed as Asian in Marvel Comics. The same can’t be said of Daniel Rand, however.
An argument could be made, perhaps, that a different incarnation of Iron Fist should have been used, one that wouldn’t have made the star an American billionaire. When the show debuts on Netflix this Friday, fans will finally get the chance to watch the show to judge for themselves. Did Netflix and Marvel Entertainment make the right decision in using the Danny Rand incarnation of Iron Fist? Was Finn Jones the right guy to play the role? Is Iron Fist as good as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage?
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What Time Is Marvel’s Iron Fist Available To Stream On Netflix?
As noted by Mic, the official release time for Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix is 3 a.m. EST on Friday, March 17. Like most Netflix Original series, the entire season will be released all at once. Season 1 of Iron Fist joins previous Netflix/Marvel projects already available to stream, including two seasons of Daredevil and the first seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Later in 2017, The Punisher will debut on Netflix, along with a series crossover called Marvel’s The Defenders.
[Featured Image by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Netflix]