Marvel Studios Hires Screenwriter Rich Wilkes to Pen IRON FIST

     August 25, 2010


Marvel Studios is moving forward with a film adaptation of the superhero Iron Fist.  According to Deadline, Marvel has tapped screenwriter Rich Wilkes (xXx) to pen a live-action feature film based on the comic book character who can channel his chi to the point where it gives him superpowers and enhances his martial arts abilities.  This will be the second Marvel property set up at Disney after the studio shelled out $4 billion for the company’s thousands of available characters.  The first is Dr. Strange, which is currently being written by Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan).

Hit the jump for more on Iron Fist and be sure to sound off in the comments about who you would cast in the role.

iron_fist_comic_book_image_01Created in 1974 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Iron Fist (real name: Daniel Thomas Rand-K’ai), received his powers by:

Plunging his fists into the molten heart of the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying infused the dragon’s superhuman energy into Rand; this along with training by Lei Kung the Thunderer gave Rand the power of the Iron Fist, allowing him to summon and focus his chi (or natural energy) and enhance his natural abilities to extraordinary levels. His strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes and senses can all be astronomically intensified, making his already formidable martial arts skills even more so.

The ultimate expression of this focus is the ability to concentrate his body’s natural energies into his hand, manifesting as a supernatural glow around his clenched fist, making his fist “like unto a thing of iron.” So concentrated, this “iron fist” can smash into its target with superhuman hardness and impact, while his hand becomes impervious to pain and injury. However, the feat of summoning the power required leaves Rand physically and mentally drained, unable to repeat the act for a time, as long as even an entire day in certain instances. Such an ability is described as “quasi-mystical”.

Wikipedia adds that “Even without the Iron Fist, Rand is a master of all of K’un Lun’s martial arts and many of Earth’s, making him easily one of the most skilled practitioners of unarmed combat in the Marvel Universe.”

And thanks to Deadline, I learned that Marvel tried making an Iron Fist movie almost a decade ago as a star vehicle for Darth Maul himself, Ray Park.  It will be interesting to see if Marvel still wants a martial artist as their lead or will go with an affordable name actor who will learn the strenuous martial arts skills required for the role.  Sound off in the comments about who you would cast as Iron Fist.

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