Marvel defends casting white actor for Iron Fist role

Duarte Garrido, Entertainment Reporter

Marvel Studios has defended the casting of former Game Of Thrones star Finn Jones in its upcoming superhero show Iron Fist.

The comic book giant came under fire for maintaining the character "true to its source material", instead of "promoting diversity".

Iron Fist's main character, Danny Rand, is played in the show by British actor Finn Jones, known for his role as Loras Tyrell on the Sky Atlantic show.

In an article titled Marvel, Please Cast An Asian American Iron Fist, journalist Kevin Chow said Marvel had a "chance to add even more diversity to its interconnected cinematic universe".

Criticism broke online and Jones eventually quit Twitter, after asking fans "not to make assumptions" before watching the show.

"Danny Rand may have remained true to its source material but our show incorporates and celebrates actors from all different backgrounds," Jones said.

Now, Marvel's senior vice president Gary Ignatin has responded to the backlash, saying Jones was "the best actor to play Danny Rand".

"What he brought to the role, what that role represents to Marvel and the comic before - the innocence, the naivety, the fish out of water, the underdog - there's no better actor to play that," he said.

But whitewashing claims could be the least of Marvel's concerns.

Early screenings of the show have been met by scathing reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter described the show as a "major disappointment", while Variety said Iron Fist was "the most frustrating and ferociously boring example of Netflix Drift in some time".

Iron Fist is part of Netflix's Defenders project - an array of shows which started with Daredevil and has since introduced Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

The goal is to combine the four separate shows into one Defenders series to be released later this year.