When Finn Jones was first cast as Danny Rand in the Netflix series “Iron Fist” there was disquiet among some fans over the fact that the role of the prominent martial artist superhero had gone to a white actor rather than someone of Asian heritage.
While it is true that in the comics Rand has always been portrayed as a blond-haired white man, and the show’s executive producer Scott Buck a stated that he was unaware of any controversy surrounding the character’s ethnicity until after he had cast the role, it seems the show’s creators did consider at least one actor of Asian origins for the role.
In a recent interview with Vulture, Asian-American actor Lewis Tan, who is half-Chinese, half-white, revealed that he originally auditioned for the role of Danny Rand.
“I read for Danny [Rand], and they liked me a lot,” Tan told Vulture. “I read again and again and again, and it was a long process, and it got to the point where they were talking about my availability and my dates. That’s always a good sign, you know? And then they went with Finn and they had me read for a villain part [Tan was cast as one-off villain Zhou Cheng in episode 8 of the Netflix series] maybe two weeks later… I think they were highly considering [casting me in the lead role] at one point in time, but it would have definitely changed the dynamic of the show. It would have been a different show.”
“I personally think it would have been a really interesting dynamic to see this Asian-American guy who’s not in touch with his Asian roots go and get in touch with them and discover this power,” Tan continued. “I think that’s super interesting and we’ve never seen that. We’ve seen this narrative already; we’ve seen it many times. So I thought it would be cool and that it would add some more color to The Defenders. And obviously I can do my own fight sequences, so those would be more dynamic.”
Now available to stream worldwide on Netflix, “Iron Fist” is a production of Marvel Television developed by Scott Buck. The drama stars Finn Jones as Daniel Rand, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum, David Wenham as Harold Meachum and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple.