How Iron Fist Was Improved for ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2

In recalibrating the poorly-received Iron Fist (Finn Jones) for season 2 of Luke Cage, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had two goals: make Iron Fist cool and make him fun.

“I mean, the thing is, I think we just were collectively arrogant enough to think that he was going to be different in our show than anywhere else. And so that’s just kind of what we did, we said, ‘Okay, this works in the comics, we love this character with our main character, let’s just figure out a way to make him cool,’” Coker explained to Fatman on Batman hosts Marc Bernardin and Kevin Smith.

“The thing is, is if you’re deeply into kung fu, in terms of like the movie mythos, so much is about philosophy, so much about cool under pressure. And Luke Cage season 2, [Luke] is really angry. So if you have somebody that can focus — the whole thing is [Danny’s] supposed to be able to channel his chi into his hand. So if this guy can do that, then what can he bring to Luke Cage? And by bringing him in at a point in the season when Luke needs it most, they both bring out the best in each other.”

After first teaming in last year’s limited-series The Defenders, Mike Colter’s Cage and Finn’s Danny Rand teamed up in episode 2x10, ‘The Main Ingredient,’ in a neon-lit warehouse to the tune of Wu-Tang’s “7th Chamber” — a brawl that ended with the vigilantes combining their powers and Cage “fastball special” tossing Rand’s iron fist into a rocket launcher-wielding bad guy.

“And then of course, Akela Cooper, it was a great script that she wrote. But also, it’s not just having Wu Tang, it’s gotta be the right Wu Tang song,” Coker added. “So the fight sequence that we had, was just really one of our favorites. It was fun, that was the thing. Just inject a certain level of fun, but then at the same time, make sure there are also those character moments.”

Coker previously told All Hip Hop TV he hoped to bring fans a version of Iron Fist they’d been praying for after the character was poorly received in The Defenders and his own Marvel-Netflix series, which carries an 18% “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes.

“It doesn’t bother me that people have criticized Iron Fist on his series and on The Defenders,” Coker said, calling Iron Fist “a dope character.”

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“And I think when you see Iron Fist within the realm of Luke Cage, and the way that we do things, I think — hopefully — that people are going to come to appreciate the character differently,” Coker added, “and hopefully that swagger that he’ll get from appearing in the Luke Cage universe will carry over into [Iron Fist season 2].”

All episodes of Luke Cage and Iron Fist are now streaming on Netflix.