Marvel Rebooting Its Worst Netflix Series?

By Michileen Martin | 3 months ago

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The past couple of months have been hopeful times for fans of Marvel’s long dormant Netflix series. First Vincent D’Onofrio returned to the role of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, and shortly afterward Charlie Cox made his first reappearance as Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even before their reveals, there were reports that Jon Bernthal could be returning soon as the Punisher. What about the other shows? Well, according to a new report, at least one of the series — Iron Fist — is being rebooted, and possibly with a new story and cast.

The unconfirmed report report comes from Geekosity, who says that in the wake of Netflix’s licensing deal with Marvel ending and all of the shows being removed from the streamer, Marvel Studios is planning on launching a new Iron Fist series. Speculating that with the darker tone of the Netflix shows, most of them will premiere on the Disney-owned Hulu rather than Disney+, the site says the new Iron Fist will enjoy a lighter, more family-friendly tone than its predecessor, and so Disney+ is its likely destination. Geekosity reports that the new series will tie in directly with 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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Finn Jones played Danny Rand aka Iron Fist in his own series, in The Defenders, and in one episode of Luke Cage‘s second season. Geekosity claims there’s a good chance it won’t be Jones playing the character in the reboot. Without being definitive, the site says the new show “probably” won’t be a continuation of the Netflix series. If not, then there are plenty of reasons to think Marvel will choose to go in a different direction.

Out of all of Marvel’s Netflix series, Iron Fist was arguably the worst received by audiences and critics. Of all the shows, it’s the only one to earn a dreaded green, splatty score (of 37%) on Rotten Tomatoes. Compared to the other binge-worthy series that kept subscribers hitting “Next Episode” over and over again, Iron Fist was slow and lacked momentum. Perhaps worst of all, in a series about a superhero defined by his mastery of the martial arts, the action sequences were unimpressive, and certainly nowhere near what audiences saw in Shang-Chi.

Rebooting Iron Fist with a new cast and story could have the added benefit of correcting something many saw as a mistake. When it was announced that Marvel was first developing the series, many Asian-American fans called for an Asian actor to be cast in the role, and the studio almost cast Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat). While Danny Rand has always been white in the comics, many see him as one more example of the “white savior trope” and felt casting an Asian actor would be a good way to balance things out.

lewis tan mortal kombat
Lewis Tan in Mortal Kombat (2021)

Marvel’s newly raging multiverse offers plenty of narrative options in rebooting Iron Fist, but there’s another solution. While the fact that multiple versions of Iron Fist existed across history has long been part of the character’s continuity, in the Immortal Iron Fist volume that launched in 2006, the creative team of Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and David Aja expanded on that history. Different issues included flashbacks to past decades and sometimes centuries to Iron Fists, for example, in the trenches of World War I. So, if they wished, Marvel Studios could reboot Iron Fist and acknowledge the Netflix continuity, while unveiling the story of a new champion of K’un-Lun.