long ago I identified Iron Fist as one of the heavy hitters that has yet to appear in the MCU. While I feel that Iron Fist, Luke Cage and a few others are made for an episodic small screen invasion, I did mention that Danny Rand's businessman persona could be a fit for the MCU despite having a hard time imagining a full-fledged kung-fu flick being added to the ever-expanding filmography of Marvel Studios. And then I read The Immortal Iron Fist. And now this film must be made.
The Immortal Iron Fist, which ran for nearly 3 years from November 2006-August 2009, was co-written by Marvel go-to-guys Matt Fraction and Ed "The Winter Soldier" Brubaker. It takes Danny Rand, the Iron Fist of those of you who don't know (is that a Meet and Greet on the back burner?), all over the map and channels some of my favorite movies, at least in my mind. In reading it, my schema elicited Bloodsport, some Indiana Jones and some Bond undertones. Upon reading this 27 issue series I felt two distinct reactions. First, this will make an absolutely amazing addition to the MCU. Second, how in THE hell did I miss this for this long?
To be clear this completely washed away my concerns about a full-fledged kung-fu film being added to the MCU...because it is not just the kung-fu. This is a deep, rich story that deserves telling. It was pure silliness on my part to overlook it. As much as I have tried to delved into the history of Marvel comics, I just had this one sitting in my library on Marvel Unlimited for the past 3 months. This is a beautiful story. It brings in other great Marvel characters like Luke Cage and Misty Knight and has a great heroic journey.
Super-duper-Latino-scooper, El Mayimbe, has been dropping an Iron Fist tweet or two lately. Is it possible that Marvel is so confident that they are going to weave the tale of the Iron Fist into their MCU? If so I would be thrilled. I love kung-fu. I love the character of Danny Rand. I love that it would bring Luke Cage to the screen. This might be all in my head but that don't mean I can't be happy none!
Doing some researching today while looking for something new to write about on a slow news day and I came across a Screen Rant interview with Kevin Feige from 2010 in which he discusses the possibilities of an Iron Fist film. It seems that Feige had the exact same thoughts I did about the Brubaker/Fraction run on Iron Fist. When asked about some lesser known properties that might make it to the big screen one day, Feige said, "I think what Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction have done with 'Iron Fist' lately is exciting..." And that's exciting.
What's more interesting to me is that Feige, in the same interview if not the same breath, mentions Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and Doctor Strange all of which are in various stages of development but are going to get done. This is a great example of why looking back at things can be worthwhile. I'm increasingly certain that we are going to get Danny Rand in the MCU...I mean Feige practically said so 3 years ago. Is Iron Fist a Phase 3 film for Marvel?
In continuing to research just how serious Marvel has been about getting an Iron Fist movie off the ground, I found another Screen Rant article from 2010 that mentions that Marvel commissioned a screenplay from xXx screenwriter Rich Wilkes and that they expected production to move forward. Obviously things stalled out on that script but we know Iron Fist is still somewhere high up on the queue because they have another script in development through their in-studio writing program, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Translation: Iron Fist is going to happen. Just a matter of getting the script right. They will likely be using The Immortal Iron Fist as the foundation for the story so it is just a matter of figuring out how to make it work because it really is a MASSIVE story. Keep hating on me and on the concept of the film; it's going to happen.
Full disclosure: every time I get bored, I do some searches for news related to the Iron Fist film. The film has been in various stages of development over the years and the more you read about it the more certain you are that Kevin Feige absolutely wants Danny Rand and his kung-fu in the MCU. In December 2010, in a media event to pimp the new Thor trailer, Feige did a live chat with the LA Times and covered a lot of ground...including Iron Fist. A fan asked Feige who his choice for Iron Fist was and if the script was based on The Immortal Iron Fist run I've been going on and on about. Feige replied, "...the movie is definitely inspired by that great run."
The fact the script in 2010 was based on the Brubaker/Fraction run is great news. There's likely nothing going to change Feige's mind to base it on that run. All the evidence points in the direction that it is not if we will see Iron Fist, but when.
So, as it turns out, I was wrong and there may not ever be an Iron Fist film. In hindsight, my mistake was narrowing my focus to a film and throwing away the possibility of a TV series. A foolish mistake, especially when you consider that my original idea from August centered on a Heroes for Hire TV show. I never had Netflix in the mix, however, and I had no idea Marvel was shooting so big with 4 separate shows. In the end, this show getting at least 13 episodes on Netflix is probably THE best option and will be something I can enjoy and Marvel can produce without fear of loss. A great call by them and I'm just happy to see this Immortal Weapon given a portion of the spotlight.