It seems that plans for Marvel Studios to churn out more superhero movies are not restricted to the top tier of the comic universe' line-up. The latest project to be brought to the forefront is Marvel's mystic martial arts master Iron Fist. After spending the last decade in developmental limbo, the long-rumored project will finally see the light of day, with writer Rich Wilkes (xXx) brought on board. Interestingly enough, with the number of pictures quickly whittling-down, Marvel Studios' distribution deal with Paramount would likely end with The Avengers in 2012. Therefore, provided the Dr. Strange project doesn't get fast-tracked, this positions Iron Fist to be the first Marvel Studios film to be released under the direct banner of Disney. (Who after a recent $4 billion purchase, now own Marvel's vast comic properties.)
As a comic book film, Iron Fist will definitely be a project that will find itself in uncharted territory by investing in a character that's not immediately recognizable to most people. While one could argue that most original action films follow characters who have never been seen before, when a film is labeled as a "comic book film," it also brings with it a different level accessibility that the average movie goer may or may not cross. The origin of Daniel Rand aka Iron Fist has a heavy focus on Asian mysticism, fights with dragons, and all sorts of surreal things that are sure to be a CGI love-fest. However, it's also the story of the son of a wealthy businessman who wishes to avenge his parents' death by learning martial arts skills from a mountain-dwelling recluse in Asia. (Sound familiar?) Anyway, the mysticism aspect would have to be secondary to the struggle of Daniel Rand the man, which on paper, sounds like it already starred Christian Bale. That might be a tough obstacle to overcome.
What it could have going for it, however, may be its attempt to stylize your typical martial-arts epic by combining elements of superhero films with slick modern action styles into something that visually, anyway, we may never have seen. Writer Rich Wilkes' original script of xXx was something that was perceived as groundbreaking to the action genre, despite how that film may have ultimately turned out. Perhaps the right visual impact could help Iron Fist (who we'll just call "The Boy with the Dragon Tattoo") overcome the lack of recognition. Actually, the thought of Iron Fists' molten, indestructible fists performing a Mortal Kombat fatality on a giant dragon just might be enticing enough as is. That seems to be the gamble that Marvel is taking, anyway.
How about you? Excited for the impending big-screen debut of Iron Fist?