Iron Fist star remembers “turbulence” in his time in the MCU
Acknowledging that his time in the MCU wasn’t totally rosy, actor Finn Jones is still down for a return to the MCU as Iron Fist.
Five years ago, a gritty group of heroes teamed up to save New York City from doom. Now, one member of Marvel’s Defenders is thinking about a return.
Actor Finn Jones spoke to Inverse about his time as the star of Marvel’s Iron Fist, and how he imagines Danny Rand could continue his adventures in Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Inverse also has an upcoming Q&A with Jones about his leading role in the new horror movie The Visitor.)
“I love Danny Rand. I would love to see the character come back into the MCU,” Jones says.
For two seasons, Jones starred as Danny Rand, a New York billionaire raised by monks after his family’s plane crashed in Asia. Danny studies kung fu in the mystical city of K’un-Lun and obtains an ancient power that gives him the moniker Iron Fist. He returns to New York to save the city from an imminent threat, and later co-stars in The Defenders alongside Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.
The character, created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1974, was criticized during his Netflix run for whitewashing Asian characters out of stories. A more generous interpretation is that Iron Fist has awkward optics, as it recycles the tired narrative of white westerners who venture into a foreign culture and return home with exotic enlightenment.
When Iron Fist debuted on Netflix in 2017, Marvel hadn’t yet produced a project focused on Asian talent, which generated controversy. It also just wasn’t very good. Still, the Marvel-Netflix era has fans, and with Daredevil star Charlie Cox having returned to the MCU, fans are hoping to see more of the Defenders return to the screen.
Finn Jones believes there are still more Danny Rand stories to tell, and he has ideas about what one could look like.
“It was a shame the show got cut off right before that.”
“Throughout that time playing the role, there was a lot of turbulence,” Jones says. “Towards the end, we got the character to a really good point where we could take off and grow the character in a really interesting, dynamic way. It was a shame the show got cut off right before that.”
Jones shared his comic book knowledge when he unpacked his pitch for a Heroes for Hire project featuring Danny Rand, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing, and Shang-Chi, who joined the MCU with a solo film last summer.
“Just from a personal standpoint, I’d love to see a Heroes for Hire TV series,” Jones says.
“I think it’d be really cool to see Danny and Luke come back together on a street level and team up. I’d love to see Colleen come back, I’d love to see her continue to hold the Iron Fist. I think it’d be sick if she showed up in something like Shang-Chi.”
Jones envisions a series that splits its focus between two team-ups: Danny Rand and Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu).
“You have these two separate worlds, you have Colleen with the Iron Fist and Shang-Chi, and then you have Luke Cage and Danny Rand doing Heroes for Hire. And then, over the years, they come back together in a really authentic way. I think that would be, from a fan standpoint, the most interesting and dynamic way to reintroduce these characters.”
The Marvel-Netflix timeline wrapped up in early 2019 after the end of both The Punisher and Jessica Jones. All the shows concluded with cliffhangers or dangling threads. In Iron Fist, Danny Rand was last seen somewhere in Asia with Ward (Tom Pelphrey), having learned to reclaim his chi energy. Meanwhile, the true Iron Fist powers were wielded by Colleen Wing, who took over defending Chinatown as the new Iron Fist.
While some of those Netflix heroes are slowly being integrated into the MCU, it’s still unclear if all the Defenders will return. Jones’ ideas for a Heroes for Hire series — historically Marvel’s throwback to classic crime movies, with a focus on martial-based New York heroes — could be fun. The Netflix shows spent years teasing Heroes for Hire, but the team ultimately never emerged.
Thanks to the character’s unpopularity and baggage, it’s uncertain if Jones’ Iron Fist will return to the MCU. But if Daredevil’s reappearance goes well, fans will probably start asking to see the other Defenders too. And if there’s one storytelling theme that Marvel loves, it’s redemption.
“I think there’s a lot more of his story to tell,” Jones says, “I would love to continue playing the role.”
The Visitor will be available on VOD on October 7 and streaming on EPIX in December.