Marvel's Iron Fist releases this Friday, March 17, and its fair to say that potential audiences have mixed feelings going in. In addition to generally poor reviews, Iron Fist has been embroiled in a casting controversy over the selection of Finn Jones to play Danny Rand, the titular hero. Both Jones and the Iron Fist of the Marvel Comics Universe are white, and some fans feel the casting squanders an opportunity to do away with the "white savior" trope that Iron Fist falls into.
Jones himself has tried to defend Iron Fist as a diverse show and sometimes has even criticized the detractors for being negative about the series before they've seen it, but these defenses have done little to sway displeased fans.
Jessica Henwick, the British Chinese actress who plays Japanese American martial artist and hero Colleen Wing in Iron Fist, has now come to the defense of her co-star in a joint interview with Jones for The Daily Beast.
"I am Asian and I am an actor," Henwick said. "If anyone understands, it's me. I have faced it in my career. I've been working eight years and I've experienced it firsthand, the disparity when it comes to Asian representation—even more than that, Asian misrepresentation.
"But I also have seen what Finn's done in this role and I honestly, honestly think that he smashes it out the park."
Henwick doesn't really weigh in one way or another on whether Iron Fist should have been cast as an Asian American. Instead, she only points out that she feels Jones has done an excellent job in the role. It seems unlikely that this will change many minds on the matter, but ultimate judgment will come when Iron Fist is released.
Up Next: Iron Fist Review Round-Up
In Marvel's Iron Fist, 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.
Based on the Marvel Comics character created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Marvel's Iron Fist is developed by Scott Buck, who serves as the series showrunner. Iron Fist stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, as well as Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, and Rosario Dawson.
The series is the fourth Marvel Television show on Netflix, following Marvel's Daredevil, Marvel's Jessica Jones, and Marvel's Luke Cage. Marvel's Iron Fist will lead into Marvel's The Defenders crossover miniseries, which will debut on Netflix later this year. The series sees Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist teaming up, along with several allies from each series, to take on a threat to New York City no one of them could handle on their own.
All 13 episodes of the first season of Marvel's Iron Fist will debut on Netflix on March 17, 2017.