Finn Jones Wants Another Shot At Playing Iron Fist In The MCU

Finn Jones still hasn't given up on Iron Fist. The actor, who had a breakout turn as Loras Tyrell in "Game of Thrones" before being cast as the billionaire martial artist Danny Rand in "Iron Fist," was asked about reprising his controversial role while appearing on the Geekscape podcast (via CBR) earlier this year. He didn't mince words in his response, saying, "I'd love another chance. I care about Danny Rand deeply, I believe in that character, I think there's a lot of work to be done."

The comments came in the midst of a discussion about the news that Disney+ would be taking over the reins on the Marvel stories that started out as Netflix originals, bringing Charlie Cox back as Daredevil. Danny Rand, meanwhile, hasn't been mentioned much in conversations about the MCU heroes' future, probably for good reason. News of the original "Iron Fist" series and Jones' casting was met with backlash before it even aired, as the Marvel Comics arcs that inspire the series have been called Orientalist. The story about a white billionaire character who wields mystical martial arts powers has been condemned as a white savior narrative that thrives on cultural appropriation.

'I love the underdog narrative'

Finn Jones has never seemed to see it that way. In 2017, he responded to critics of the series in an interview with Vulture, calling the outrage "unjust" and "unfair" and saying, "Don't get angry and start a mob when you don't even — you haven't even seen the show!" When it finally did premiere, "Iron Fist" was met with a largely negative response. The show's first season has an abysmal 20% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and writer and critic Karen Han even penned a /Film article that proclaimed: "'Iron Fist' is a much better show if you remove Iron Fist."

While Jones now acknowledges some of the show's shortcomings, especially when it comes to its widely panned first season, he still tells Geekscape he would return to the role, throwing out the idea for a "Heroes For Hire" plot that would also bring back Jessica Henwick's Colleen Wing. He even goes so far as to call billionaire Rand — or, perhaps, his own turn as the character, it's not quite clear — an underdog. "There's something about the underdog, y'know?" he tells the podcast. "I love the underdog narrative. I love the ability to prove someone wrong, and I want to prove all those motherf****** wrong."

Jones continues, "I know I have it in me and I know I can give the Danny Rand performance that fans want and that is possible." For anyone who's been attentively following the conversation around the "Iron Fist" controversy for years now, these comments seem optimistic yet misguided at best. At worst, they show that Jones may not have taken much criticism about the story's inherent racism to heart.

If Iron Fist has a future, it may be Colleen Wing

Indeed, Finn Jones goes even further in the interview, defending the work of artists who are "trying to manifest something positive" against haters who he says react drastically to anything they don't like. "What people need to realize is that we're all well-intentioned people that are trying to create art in the world," he tells Geekscape. He adds, "The level of hate that gets poured onto artists and creatives if it maybe doesn't turn out in the direction that they'd hoped — it's like they've just created genocide, you know?"

Yikes. While there are certainly factions of fans who love to spew hateful vitriol online, that type of backlash most often seems to occur when franchises and major releases attempt to let women, queer people, or people of color in, not when they stubbornly stick with a whitewashed story that was called out for racism before Jones was even cast. There's a difference between empty hate and genuine criticism of racial insensitivity, but Jones' comments seem to me to blur the line between the two, invoking an unnecessary comparison to genocide while making artists who should be open to feedback sound blameless in the process.

Regardless, Marvel hasn't announced plans for Iron Fist's return anyway. For her part, Jessica Henwick has stated that she turned down a role in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" to keep the door open for future Colleen Wing appearances in the MCU. If "Iron Fist" does have any sort of future, it'll be on Disney+, where it and its fellow Netflix Marvel shows landed this year.