It’s been a long journey on the road to The Defenders, the Avengers-like miniseries event for Netflix that brings together the heroes of Hell’s Kitchen. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV, took New York Comic Con attendees on a trip through memory lane Saturday, screening a sizzle reel that recapped all that’s happened since Daredevil season 1 and capping with the final piece of the puzzle: Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist.
Finn Jones stars as the living weapon in the series, and he joined showrunner Scott Buck and his fellow castmates Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), Jessica Stroup (Joy Meachum), Tom Pelphrey (Ward Meachum), and David Denham (Harold Meachum) for a special panel previewing the new series at New York’s Javitz Center. Simone Missick will also return as Luke Cage‘s Misty Knight, but she was not present.
When Daredevil was at the Con, Netflix revealed the first footage of Matt Murdock in action. The Jessica Jones NYCC panel? Netflix screened the premiere episode for the crowd. So what did the streaming giant bring out for Iron Fist? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Danny’s return isn’t so smooth
Loeb and the cast screened a series of clips from Iron Fist, the first of which revealed Danny’s return home to New York City. He’s been missing for 10 years and is presumed dead — that is, until he shows up with bare feet and a first-generation iPod strapped to his drawstring pants at the pristine headquarters of Rand Enterprises, where he asks to see the man upstairs. Naturally, the receptionist calls security, and Danny gets to show off his martial arts skills as he fights his way through to the elevator.
Jones explained that he trained five hours every day to get in shape for the role, two-thirds of which were spent on martial arts and the remaining on weightlifting.
2. Hogarth returns
In the second clip, Danny addresses Joy and Ward, saying, “I have Hogarth now. You can’t deny me what is mine.” Though she doesn’t make an appearance, he’s referring to Jeri Hogarth, played by Carrie-Anne Moss in Jessica Jones season 1. The character was initially Jeryn Hogarth in the comics, an attorney and Danny’s best friend. So, why might the living weapon need an attorney now? Because a heated scene between Danny and Joy and Ward Meachum reveal they’ve completely taken over his family company. “The Danny Rand I knew is dead and I want him to stay that way,” Ward proclaims.
3. Claire will get to kick some butt this time
Eagle-eyed fans might have caught the Iron Fist Easter egg at the end of Luke Cage‘s first season. Spoiler alert: Claire rips off a tab from a flyer advertising Colleen Wing’s dojo. “I have a good sensei,” Dawson said at the panel, high-fiving Henwick after Loeb confirmed she’ll “get to kick some ass in particular.”
4. There’s another hallway fight
The Defenders have given us some choice hallway fight sequences, and Iron Fist is no different. The third clip of the night revealed a gang dressed all in black carting off Joy into an elevator before Danny strikes his butt-kicking poses and gets to work. The scene cuts out after he creatively subdues his attackers and charges for the elevator. Loeb promises, “Danny then gets on the elevator, and I’ll leave you with that.”
5. Wing has Fight Club fever
Henwick expressed her dedication to doing right by the fans of Colleen, referencing one of her favorite images of the character clothed in a translucent plastic raincoat with a katana on her back and a pacifier in her mouth. Part of doing justice to Colleen meant getting into the physicality of the role. “Fighting and martial arts is so much more than a hobby for her; it’s a way of life,” she said. We found out a little of what she means in a clip that showed the heroine dressed in a white hoodie, fighting in a rooftop cage match against two muscled opponents. One taunts her, saying, “This little girl thinks she can fight me.” Psst! He soon eats his words.
6. Meet the new villain
In the comics, Harold Meachum killed his former friend and Danny’s father Wendell before leading Danny’s mother to her death by wolf pack (which is hinted at in the new trailer). In the series, sneak peek footage shows him at Danny’s bedside as the hero is strapped down and seemingly drugged. In his dreary state, Danny says he thought Harold was dead — something the man teases is what they have in common. Denham said he used a mixture of the comic books and real-life “captains of industry” to develop this villain. “What was rather intriguing was that the fact it was extremely mysterious,” he said. “Marvel is a very secretive organization. They really left us hanging, so what that actually did was give, I think, a great spontaneity to the characters.”
7. The hand can’t be too far behind
In the same clip, Danny confesses that he trained with the monks at K’un-Lun to become the Iron Fist, “the sworn enemy of The Hand.” The Hand played a major part in Daredevil, and in season 2 they set a plot into motion to transform Elektra into their prophesied weapon. Might they rear their ugly heads in Iron Fist? Time will tell.
And, last but not least, Netflix debuted the brand-new trailer in all its glowing-fist glory. Watch it here.
Season 1 of Iron Fist premieres on Netflix March 17, 2017.