Back in 2005, I was at a party that was thrown for the premiere of "Masters Of Horror," and Ray Park was one of the guests.  We talked about what was already at that point a longtime dream for him, playing Danny Rand, also known as the Immortal Iron Fist.  He was first attached to the film back in 2001.

Will he finally end up playing the character?  If I was a betting man, I'd wager it will not happen with him in the role.  I just can't imagine Marvel Studios taking a chance on the film with him in the lead role at this point, and for a while now, it's seemed like a longshot that there would be a film at all.

Today, word broke that Marvel has hired Rich Wilkes to write the latest attempt at nailing down a film version of "The Immortal Iron Fist."  Wilkes was the writer who created "xXx," and whatever you thought of the final film, the script was fun and the action in it was great on the page.

So who or what is Iron Fist?  He's gone through a lot of different writers over the years, with a lot of changes to his basic character.  He's a martial arts expert, trained in another dimension, who mastered the greatest skill of all, the Iron Fist, which gives his already-considerable physical power a supernatural boost.

Over the course of his crimefighting career, he's frequently been teamed with Luke Cage, the character that Nic Cage took his stage name from, and he's been a great supporting character for other Marvel heroes over the years.  What I like about this news is that is suggests Marvel really is moving forward with the development of their smaller films, the lesser-known characters.  It's one thing to do the build towards the Avengers and service the giant characters like Thor and Captain America, but if the company is really going to last past a few giant films, they've got to really nail down characters like Dr. Strange and Iron Fist and whoever else they're considering right now.

There have been a lot of aborted attempts to bring Iron Fist to life before, so it'll be interesting to see if this attempt actually results in a feature film.

Here's hoping.

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