MCU, Disney Plus and finally fixing the Iron Fist problem

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Netflix presents Marvel's Iron Fist at New York Comic-Con 2016. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Netflix)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Netflix presents Marvel's Iron Fist at New York Comic-Con 2016. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Netflix) /

With Disney Plus taking the MCU into a new era, it presents them with a second chance for Iron Fist.

WandaVision has proven to be quite a successful debut show for the MCU on Disney Plus. But this wasn’t the MCU’s first foray into streaming series. There was once a prolific partnership with Netflix that led to some great TV, albeit with one big mistake called Iron Fist.

The premise behind the series was perfectly fine, as was the vast majority of the execution. But a poor casting choice with the lead character cost the series big. Now, the MCU has a chance to fix that mistake going forward.

Marvel and Netflix make waves

As the MCU tore up the big screens, Marvel started looking for opportunities on the small screen. While there were several other series out there, it was a partnership with Netflix that made the most waves.

Between 2015 and 2019, there were 13 seasons of Marvel TV produced for Netflix. The characters focused on were Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and The Punisher. But the first series was Daredevil, and it was a definitive breakout success.

While Netflix’s Marvel was still technically part of the MCU, it never directly interacted with it. In essence, it became a sub-universe within the overall universe, referred to by many as Marvel Knights after the gritty comic book group featuring many of the same characters.

Fans and critics ate these shows up, and rightfully so. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Punisher were all acclaimed series, and are still worth watching. Then, there’s Iron Fist. Maybe leave that one alone.

Iron Fist falters

Given the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, fans expected big things from Iron Fist. Three big wins should have led to a fourth. Instead, fans got a barely watchable dud of a show that was more annoying than anything else.

Unfortunately, the blame for that rests solely on the casting of Danny Rand/Iron Fist. Finn Jones, who was best known for his work on Game of Thrones, was brought in to play the part. The problem was that Jones went into the series with little or no martial arts training.

Iron Fist is supposed to be a master of kung-fu, but it was quite obvious that Jones was not. Throughout the series, his character constantly points out that he is a kung-fu master but the bad cuts simply did not cover up the truth of the situation.

It’s not like this was the first time that an actor who didn’t know martial arts played a character who supposedly did. But viewers found it hard to take Jones seriously in the role – partially because of those bad cuts.

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Even worse, Jessica Henwick, who played Colleen Wing, did come to her role with actual martial arts training. It was absurd watching Wing ask Rand for tips and training when you knew the truth of the actors behind the characters.

Netflix’s Marvel characters return

With the end of Netflix’s Marvel series, rights for these characters are slowly returning home. While these stories and series are certainly not canon in the MCU, some the actors who portrayed the characters in them might be.

Charlie Cox, who played Daredevil on Netflix, is reputedly reviving the character in some form in the new Spider-Man film. Charlie Cox played the character brilliantly. As such, fans have problems seeing anyone else stepping into the role.

There are also rumors that Jessica Jones may be popping up in the upcoming She-Hulk Disney Plus series, still played by Krysten Ritter. To be honest, it’s hard to imagine that Jessica Jones would appear without Mike Colter’s Luke Cage being close behind.

And while Punisher hasn’t been announced for any MCU projects, Marvel has all but committed to continuing with Jon Bernthal in the role. That would be smart as Bernthal has played the absolute definitive live-action version of the character.

Iron Fist recast

Fans would love to see many of these actors return to these roles, even if their former series are not part of the current canon. But this also offers the MCU to fix their huge casting mistake with Iron Fist and make him into a viable character.

While no disrespect is meant to Finn Jones, he was the wrong choice for Iron Fist. He may have been on Game of Thrones, but that couldn’t make up for his lack of martial arts skill. There had to be a litany of other choices.

Iron Fist remains a great character, and should absolutely be used in the MCU going forward. But there’s no reason why a new actor shouldn’t be selected. Actors like John Foo, Taylor Lautner, Joey Ansah, Iko Uwais and more could all play the part quite well. Regardless of who ends up as Iron Fist, Marvel has an opportunity to fix a major blemish on their nearly-perfect casting record.

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Who would you like to see play Iron Fist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us know in the comments below”