Those of us who have had our eyes glued to our Netflix screens for the past couple years are already looking towards the future. Marvel Television's big team-up limited series, The Defenders, is set to hit the streaming service this summer. If you've been following some of our coverage on the site, you'll notice they're starting to push it pretty hard. This is more than a little bit ironic that we've been treated to some extra behind-the-scenes looks to the character Danny Rand (a.k.a. Iron Fist) despite the fact that his own series has yet to come out.
Well, fret not. Marvel Television will start filling that void soon enough. This first in-depth look at the show, as well as the character of Danny Rand comes courtesy of the folks at EW, who had a chance to sit down and talk with leading man Finn Jones. Jones started with some key traits about Danny, as well as the arc he goes on -- not just in Iron Fist, but in The Defenders as well.
“He’s a child trapped in a man’s body [at the beginning of Iron Fist]. He’s an incredibly fierce warrior, but he doesn’t know who he is. Iron Fist is like Danny in his adolescence, and The Defenders is like Danny taking responsibility and moving forward with his purpose. He’s craving desperately for family, for help, for guidance, for people to learn from, and for a team [in The Defenders]. But because of what happens in Iron Fist, he’s very untrusting. It’s really his way or no way.”
As expected, his untrusting personality is something that will be delved into in these shows -- though for starters, it sounds like one key aspect of that comes in the form of Danny being an orphan, which is something Finn can relate to:
"Well, we’re both orphans. I was adopted, so I understand that need for something more. I understand that loneliness that Danny feels. Danny gets really stressed and really pissed off sometimes, and I understand that. I think it’s the alienation aspect, but also that optimism. I understand Danny’s optimism and where that comes from.
"I like his contradictions. I like the fact that he’s someone struggling to find his identity and has lots of different flaws and complexities and it’s in those elements that I think is most fun to explore… When he comes to New York, he’s really trying to find out who he is and what he wants to become. For most of Iron Fist, that’s what he’s trying to pursue, to find out about his parents, as well as being the Iron Fist."
Of course, like every single Defender, one of the big questions is whether or not Danny Rand will be able to fit into the group as a whole. While on the film front, the Avengers have their own issues and personality clashes, the problems each of the Defenders is facing are distinctly more grounded. From the sound of it, we'll be seeing a very grounded aspect of Danny's personality when it comes to his dynamic with the group -- a group he both wants and doesn't want to be a part of.
"Here’s one of Danny’s contradictions again. On the one hand, he’s craving desperately for family, for help, for guidance, for people to learn from, and for a team. He’s looking for that deeply. But because of what happens in Iron Fist, he’s very untrusting of a lot of people, and he has a very independent spirit, and it’s really his way or no way."
Finally, Jones discussed a bit about The Defenders, and how it seems set to complete a character arc for Danny. This is definitely a bit on the unconventional side. Each of the other series so far -- Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage -- have all had their full character arcs within their respective seasons. From Jones' comments, it sounds as though audiences can expect to see a more fluid transition between Iron First and The Defenders, in that his arc starts in the former and ends in the latter.
"I see it as kind of this journey where Iron Fist and The Defenders is like the complete first season of Danny’s journey. It’s really nice to play it back-to-back because Danny does go through this awesome huge arc, so the end of Iron Fist is like the halfway point… In The Defenders, he’s got a grasp of who he is and he’s trying to do something with it. It’s great to play that consistently over the year and not have that broken up."
In short, it sounds like one can expect Iron Fist and The Defenders to act like two parts of one full season for Danny's emotional journey. While we can see where the actor is coming from with this, we have to wonder if it's actually accurate. Thus far in the Marvel Netflix shows, the showrunners have been very careful to craft very specific arcs for each season, and if Danny doesn't go through his own in the first season of his show, will it negatively impact its watchability? We'll have to wait and see.
What do you think of Finn Jones' comments? Let us know in the comments down below!
Iron Fist hits Netflix on March 17, 2017! The Defenders hits Netflix later this summer!
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