IRONFIST,THEMARTIAL-ARTS EXPERT WHO HAS A WAY WITH HIS hands, is the latest street-level superhero to join the Marvel-Netﬂix world. Starring Game of Thrones alumni Finn Jones and Jessica Henwick, the stand-alone series (streams March 17) is the pulse racer to tide you over until this summer, when the much-anticipated crossover The Defenders debuts. Here’s your Iron-clad primer on all the action.
DANNY RAND (A.K.A. IRON FIST) IS LIKE BRUCE WAYNE BUT HAPPIER
The basic premise of the show will sound familiar to anyone who has watched Batman Begins or Arrow. Danny Rand (Finn Jones, who played pre wild fire Loras on Game of Thrones), heir to Rand Enterprises, returns to New York City after apparently dying alongside his parents in a plane crash. The truth, however, is a bit more mystical than that. In addition to a new hobo-chic style, Danny is also sporting a new set of martial-arts moves and a glowing fist that does a lot more than shine.
IT’S NOT EASY LOOKING LIKE A KARATE MASTER
When Jones won the role of Danny last March, training began immediately. “For two months before we started to shoot, I did martial arts and weight training every day for three to four hours,” Jones says of his prep before filming in New York last summer. “Once shooting starts, pretty much all there’s time for is shooting. Choreography and rehearsal is squeezed in on top of that.”
THERE WERE SOME INJURIES
Training that rigorously doesn’t come without a cost: That’s what Jessica Henwick (one third of Game of Thrones’ Sand Snakes) found out. Playing Colleen, a dojo owner and romantic interest for Danny, Henwick put her entire body on the line to make the fighting look real. “Over the course of five months, both of my hips have popped out,” she says. “I tore my Achilles’ heel. I sprained my wrists. I’ve been literally covered in bruises and scrapes and cuts, but I’ve withstood it all, which is the most important thing.” Jones, who knew Henwick from their time on GoT, had it a bit easier: “I stubbed my toe in the beginning, but other than that I’ve been fine.”
JONES WANTS TO CONVINCE HIS DOUBTERS
BecauseIron Fist cribs from Asian cultural imagery, and considering the Marvel-Netflix universe relegates most of its Asian characters to henchman or ninja roles, there was a lot of debate over Jones’ casting and whether the role should have gone to a nonwhite actor. Jones hopes that viewers give the show a chance to prove itself. “I understand where their frustration comes from,” he says. “But let’s just wait and watch the show before we make a statement about it. I think people will be pleasantly surprised about what we’ve done.”
THERE MAY OR MAY NOT BE A COSTUME
The Marvel-Netflix tradition of saving costume reveals for the very end of the season goes back to 2015’s Daredevil. Though Jones isn’t confirming or denying that Danny will don the character’s signature yellow bandanna mask by the end of the 13 episodes, he is positive that the dragon tattoo on his chest makes an appearance or two. “I had no idea when I started this show how topless I was going to be,” he says. “It’s a pain in the ass. Doing it once or twice is fine, but I’m shirtless every other episode. Like, say goodbye to pizzas and burgers.” And say hello to abs.