– by David Kozlowski

Netflix and Marvel‘s Iron Fist was a strange, frustrating show. The corporate business storyline was confusing and clunky (at best), while the season finale ended with a thud and lacked closure. However, the biggest and most obvious complaint I’ve heard was that Danny Rand, played by British actor Finn Jones, simply wasn’t a very likeable character. He couldn’t manage his anger, he was petulant, and his personality seemed to regress throughout the season.

And yet, the show definitely had its moments.

Buried within Iron Fist‘s considerable flaws was an interesting premise with lots of cool ideas to explore. But I still can’t get my head around the Rand/Iron Fist character. Was the issue in the script, the direction, or the acting? Granted, each of the Netflix/Marvel shows have their share of warts (primarily the second halves of each season), but Iron Fist‘s problems were evident right from the start and persisted throughout nearly every episode.

So what can we expect from Rand in the upcoming event mini-series The Defenders? MCU Exchange caught up with Jones to get his side of the story:

“The thing with there with Danny is that we’re taking an ordinary kid with a lot of issues and we’re trying to iron those out first before getting to Danny as Iron Fist. And what we’ll in Defenders is Danny coming to terms with being a superhero.”

There’s a lot to unpack here. Yes, Rand had a lot of emotional issues, but the show never really explained their origins, nor did we get much insight into his training or living conditions in K’un Lun — what little we did see looked rather unpleasant. What struck me odd was that after being away from America for 15 years, Rand didn’t seem that out of sorts with technology or pop culture. Finally, the show never bothered to explain how Rand traveled from K’un Lun to New York — he lived in a monastery that literally existed outside of earth’s dimension, so where did he get the money to buy a fake passport and airfare?

Jones shares a bit of insight regarding his relationship with the Murdock, Cage, and Jones:

“In the Defenders when he first starts, he doesn’t even know what a superhero is and then he meets those guys and he’s like ‘WHOA. This is cool,’ and by the end of it you kind of see Danny really coming to the grips with his responsibility in a much more mature way.”

This makes some sense. Murdock, Cage, and Jones are full-grown adults with a lot of life experience. I can see Rand gaining some wisdom from these three (and probably a few new bad habits too). One hopes that one of them, ideally Cage, mentors Rand and forces him to grow-up before he makes a mistake that he (or someone else) can’t walk away from.

Full disclosure, I loved Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and both seasons of Daredevil. I’m also a lifelong martial artist; I studied Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido for several years in Korea while in the Army. So I had tremendous hopes and expectations for Iron Fist. Even though this show had a lot of issues, including: pacing, dialogue, story, and (worst of all) poor fight choreography, I’m truly excited to see Rand grow in The Defenders.  

Do you think Danny Rand can gain some maturity in The Defenders? Let us know in the comments down below!

The Defenders hits Netflix on August 18, 2017.

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SOURCE: MCU Exchange

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.