Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ Cast Includes ‘Game Of Thrones,’ ‘Doctor Who’ Actor In Title Role — But Not Everyone Is Happy
Marvel’s upcoming Iron Fist cast will now include yet another actor who defies the opinions of comic book fans. Daniel Rand wasn’t originally Asian American, and now will be played by Doctor Who and Game of Thrones veteran Finn Jones. Many fans have been wanting the character to be of Asian descent.
This isn’t the first time a comic book adaptation has defied the fans’ racial expectations. Tim Burton’s Batman Returns had District Attorney Harvey Dent portrayed by Star Wars veteran Billy Dee Williams, changing the man who would become Two-Face from white to black. Joel Schumacher later changed him back by casting Tommy Lee Jones in the role, and ironically the film was the first of two which would kill the series.
Ben Affleck’s Daredevil had also changed the originally white Kingpin by casting the late Michael Clarke Duncan as the criminal mastermind.
If you want to go back really far, the Green Hornet’s sidekick Kato was supposed to be white, and Chinese American actor and martial arts superstar Bruce Lee had been forced to wear a mask and hat to hide his ethnicity.
Now Marvel and Netflix are planning to do it again, with the Iron Fist cast lead being played by a white actor. According to Vulture, it really could have been a big mistake. Despite the protests of Asian Americans everywhere, Finn Jones has been revealed as the man behind the yellow mask (or whatever costume they decide to give him).
The origins of Iron Fist surround rich white boy Daniel Rand traveling to the fictional nation of K’un Lun, where he studied martial arts fighting and eventually emerged as a gifted student whose potential exceeded that of his masters. After learning to channel his chi into mystical energy, he became a martial arts fighter with a mystical advantage. He was invented back in the era when martial arts action films were huge, cashing in on the popularity of Bruce Lee and various Asian heroes.
As a product of that period, the lead casting of Iron Fist in Marvel’s upcoming Netflix TV series has become a platform for Asian American fans to gather around. There has been a petition and a heated argument surrounding the decision. The idea was for Iron Fist to be the first openly Asian-American superhero in TV history. It would have involved Daniel Rand going back to his homeland to re-connect with his own culture, something that Asian Americans could identify with.
The plan for Marvel and Netflix, after the cast of Iron Fist has been solidified, assuming the show is a success, is to combine the characters into a mini-series. We will see Hell’s Kitchen lawyer Daredevil, private investigator Jessica Jones, the unbreakable Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist team up in The Defenders, kind of a TV equivalent of the Avengers, says Metro.
Rumour: Iron Fist’s Finn Jones will debut in Marvel’s Luke Cage https://t.co/sxdF7SVUHL pic.twitter.com/JEBpeZ3POl
— Total Film (@totalfilm) March 3, 2016
It’s doubtful that the Defenders and the Avengers will share screen time though, since Netflix doesn’t have the rights to Disney’s characters. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was created around the concept of bringing back Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) after his death in Avengers, but that was the only reason why Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury was able to make his cameos, along with Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell).
The casting of Finn Jones as Iron Fist might lose the show a large audience, but Marvel and Netflix are hoping to find a way to bring the Asian-American fans back some other way. If the show flops, it could be the first time for the merger of Netflix and Marvel, and they might need to settle with adding Iron Fist through an inclusion with Luke Cage, much like they did with Luke in Jessica Jones.
What do you think? Is the Iron Fist casting of Finn Jones going to ruin the show?
[Feature image via Marvel Comics]