Fixing Netflix’s Iron Fist: Casting Danny Rand

Ever since I implored Marvel to consider an Asian American actor for the role of Danny Rand in their planned Iron Fist Netflix series last year, the most common reaction has been from non-Asians (usually) whitesplaining why the idea of an Asian American martial artist is racist. The second most common question involves who Marvel/Netflix could cast in the role because there are no Asian American stars who could possibly carry a series. Which is a funny demand because I don’t recall Charlie Cox being a huge movie star pre-Daredevil, but that’s neither here nor there.

Besides, this is Marvel we’re talking about. The same studio that turned the schlubby guy from Parks & Rec into Harrison Ford. Whoever they cast — Asian or not — is guaranteed to be a star anyway. So here are several actors who deserve a shot at Shou-Lao and superhero stardom.

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The White Runner

One of my hobbies is to look at movie posters and just insert the word white into any movie featuring a white protagonist, which is something like 90% of all movies. Or, all “mainstream” movies not starring Will Smith or Denzel Washington.

When my fourteen year old son and I saw Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner in September, I was surprised at how good the production values were. From the previews I was expecting a somewhat cheesy, low-ish budget, formulaic sci-fi teen film like The Host (based on the Stephanie Meyer book; hell yes, I should have known better. And truly, it was three times as bad as any of the Twilight films, which at least had some strengths, although I don’t remember them now… Robert Pattinson’s glitter? Vampire baseball? Rome?).

Caution: spoilers ahead.

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