Marvel Hasn’t Cracked The IRON FIST Series Yet
The Marvel Netflix universe is in full swing - Daredevil season 2 has been in pre-production for a little while and I think they may have even started shooting some stuff, while Jessica Jones (they lost the AKA) is very far along. Luke Cage is in the writing stage, and I understand they have more than half the season broken and are working on scripts. But what about Iron Fist?
What I'm hearing is that Marvel still hasn't decided what the direction of the show will be. They've brought in a lot of people to pitch, and have been having a lot of discussions, but so far nothing has stuck. My understanding is that one of the big hold-ups is the mystical element, with lots of different opinions on just how much weird wuxia to bring in to the show. I don't know if there are other arguments about the race of the character, although I do hope they're considering how to best proceed with that.
In the comics Danny Rand is Iron Fist, and he is more than just a kick-ass martial artist. He trained with the mystical masters of the hidden city of K'un Lun (which appears on Earth once every ten years) and gained the power of the Iron Fist - he can channel all of his body's chi into his fist, which allows him to hit with superhuman strength, and which gives his fist a cool glow. This is what sets Iron Fist apart from, say, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu, who has no actual powers.
But will Danny have powers in the show? It's an interesting problem for the Netflixverse - the first season of Daredevil was so grounded that Daredevil's radar sense was backgrounded to an extent that some newbies told me they didn't even know Daredevil had powers. You could technically do that with Iron Fist - he could mention his chi and shit a couple of times, but you don't have his hand glow - but then why not just do Shang-Chi? At least that would get you an Asian hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I assume Danny Rand will be white because the character in the comics is white, and Marvel tends to default to reflecting the established character when it comes to major names. Part of what makes Iron Fist cool is the mystical stuff, and losing that just makes him feel like Baby Daredevil. And by the time Iron Fist debuts we will have had four seasons of Marvel on Netflix, which means it will surely be high time to bring in some high weirdness.
There were some moments in the first season of Daredevil that opened the door for weirdness in Iron Fist, most notably the seemingly-supernatural powers of Madame Gao. The show also had a glimpse of a symbol that appeared to hint at Iron Fist villain Steel Serpent, although everything I have read and heard indicates that stuff was thrown in as easter eggs, as opposed to being part of a meticulous plan. Those elements exist and can be picked up on by the Iron Fist showrunner, but they're not set in stone.
The upside of all this: while I bet you see Jessica Jones and Luke Cage pop up in Daredevil season 2, you shouldn't hold your breath for Danny Rand to show up in any of the other Netflix shows. The Luke Cage writers room is so far along on that series that if they could work Danny Rand in, it would have to be at the very, very end of the season. I suspect that the schedule for iron Fist is such that they won't even cast the lead until the end of the year/early next year, and since the studio doesn't even know how they're approaching the character why bring him in to another show and define him before you've figured him out?
If I do hear anything about Iron Fist be assured you'll be the first person I tell. Yes, you.