If you are a fan of Iron Fist, then you are no doubt familiar with Shou Lao. The original comics featured the fearsome dragon as Danny Rand was forced to fight the beast in K’un Lun. Versed in martial arts, the mystical hero was only able to tap into the power of the Iron Fist after he defeated Shoa Lao in battle, and Netflix’s upcoming show about the hero highlights Rand’s supernatural abilities.
Since the trailers have showed Rand’s fist glowing with pent-up chi, fans have wondered whether the show will detail his fight with Shou Lao. After all, the fight is a seminal one to Iron Fist and marks a milestone in his training prior to returning to New York. Back in February, the star of Marvel’s Iron Fist did confirm Shou Lao would be part of the show in some way, but don’t expect to see the serpentine dragon appear on-screen.
From what is sounds like, Netflix didn’t have quite the budget to bring that magical monster to life.
Speaking to Yahoo UK, Jones told the site that Shou Lao wasn’t able to make the show because of budget restraints. “I’d love to have the budget for these shows to have a full-on Game of Thrones style dragon,” he explained. “But unfortunately you know, we have budget restraints. That’s the nature of the show.”
“We do allude to it in Iron Fist, in a very intelligent way” Jones added. “And definitely in The Defenders… but I think, you know, we’ve got to be realistic.”
Of course, fans of Iron Fist will be a bit disappointed to hear about Shou Lao’s absence. If you are unfamiliar with the character, then you should know the dragon first appeared in Marvel Premiere #16. The immortal Chinese beast has insanely fast speed and the ability to breathe fire. When Rand faced off against the dragon, the hero won against Shou Lao after having a dragon-shaped tattoo burnt into his chest.
Fifteen years after being presumed dead in a plane crash, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) mysteriously returns to New York City determined to reclaim his birthright and family company. However, when a long-destined enemy rises in New York, this living weapon is forced to choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
Marvel’s Iron Fist premieres March 17, 2017 exclusively on Netflix.