With the comic-book movie boom in full swing following X-Men (2000), Marvel wanted to bring kung-fu super hero and 70s comic icon Iron Fist to the big screen.
OH. SO WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED?
Star Wars actor (and general bloke who’s good at martial arts) Ray Park was set to star as Danny Rand/Iron Fist and John Turman was to write the script that would have seen the master of martial arts high-kick his way into the hearts of cinemagoers everywhere.
BUT WHAT DID HAPPEN?
Kirk Wong signed on as director in 2001 and in early 2002 Iron Fist almost went into pre-production, but shortly afterwards Wong left the project and the pre-production entered an ‘on again/off again’ status. The following year Marvel announced a 2004 release date... which was then later pushed back to 2006. Meanwhile Steve Carr was set to take on directing duties, but in 2007 (a year after the supposed release date) the film was placed on hold by Carr due to a scheduling conflict.
WAS THIS SUCH A BAD THING?
It was probably a good thing that an Iron Fist movie stalled when it did, as the comic-book movie explosion at the beginning of the millennium saw a quick succession of heroes hitting cinema screens with the big named characters grabbing most of the attention. Smaller named characters (like Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher) still made money at the box-office but the market quickly became saturated with too many heroes and a property like Iron Fist would have more than likely become lost in the mix.
BUT WHAT IF?
If Iron Fist hadn't stalled during pre-production and instead had made it into cinemas the martial arts expert would have acquired a cult following amongst fans of super hero kung-fu. Calling themselves Fisters, these super fans would have dedicated their time to learning a variety of special hand gestures known as Fisting which they would have used as a form of communication amongst each other. Slowly the use of Fisting would have spread beyond fans of the super hero franchise allowing it to be adapted by different races, offering different nationalities the chance to converse through Fisting. Eventually every person on the planet would have discovered how to use Fisting to express themselves, meaning no matter where a person travelled they would have always been able to put Fisting to good use.