Meet the major villain Marvel’s Iron Fist has been keeping a secret – and the Sherlock actor who’s playing him
Sacha Dhawan will be joining the Netflix series as iconic Iron Fist villain Davos, after his involvement was kept under wraps for months
After receiving some pretty bad reviews and fielding slightly odd comments from lead actor Finn Jones, Marvel/Netflix superhero series Iron Fist could use some good press to entice fans to watch – and now they might just have it, revealing today that a major character from the source comics is secretly involved in the series after all.
Longtime Iron Fist foe Davos (also known as Steel Serpent in the comics) has been announced to be a part in the series when it begins streaming tomorrow, with Sherlock and An Adventure in Space and Time star Sacha Dhawan set to bring him to life following secret filming – and after months of mystery, Dhawan says he’s glad the truth is finally out.
“Well it’s been difficult, because you know you can’t really tell your friends and people about it,” Manchester-born Dhawan told RadioTimes.com on a phone call from New York, where he’s currently promoting the series.
“This was back in May, June of last year that I kind of got the part, and your initial instinct is to scream it from the rooftops and tell everyone what you’re doing, you know? But I haven’t been able to talk about it at all until yesterday, really.”
And his casting may surprise some fans of the comics, who are accustomed to seeing Davos represented as a huge muscular figure at odds with Dhawan’s slighter frame – not to mention his English accent…
“Marvel don’t really give that much information when you’re auditioning for it, and I could work out who the character was – Davos,” Dhawan recalled. “So your first instinct is to Google it, and Davos was this huge, muscly guy in purple lycra. The Steel Serpent!
Davos/Steel Serpent in the original comics
“And I just thought ‘There is no way in a million years I’m even gonna be considered for this.’ So you keep your agent happy, you self-tape. But then I got another audition for it, and another, and then they said, 'Actually, can you scrap the American accent and just do British?’
“So I eventually got the part, and I was just really interested to see how they were gonna do the character. I thought ‘Do I need to bulk up in size or what?'
“And then they told me, you know, read the comics and stuff, but what we’re doing with Netflix and Marvel shows is we’re doing something completely different.”
These differences also extend to Davos’ backstory, which in the comics sees him as a fellow student of lead character Danny Rand (Finn Jones) who fails to become the protector of the mystical land of K’un L’un, with the duty instead falling to Danny. Enraged, Davos would spend years trying to steal Danny’s Iron Fist power – but as of yet, the Netflix series’ new Davos has different motives.
“Davos is an incredibly skilled martial artist, but he’s a very complex character as well, and it’s not quite the outright villain,” Dhawan explained. “He’s actually Danny’s best friend and almost brother from K’un L’un, and he comes back to New York to bring Danny home. And he’s incredibly disappointed at Danny for kind of just leaving K’un L’un and not living up to his duty really.
“It’s not quite as simple as going ‘Oh I wanted to be the Iron Fist, and I’m coming back to New York to get that off you.’ It’s much more complex.
“What he’s really disappointed in Danny for is just leaving – Danny left K’un L’un without any warning. Davos just woke up one morning and Danny was gone.
“But what you will start to see is he starts to realise…yeah he’s happy that his friend and brother has become Iron Fist, but maybe Danny isn’t actually up to the task at hand, because he just left.”
In other words, it’ll be a while before we see Davos’ full villainy in action, with Dhawan revealing that he’s not actually in the series until its ninth episode (with only six screened for critics before the series’ release), and that the majority of his storyline will take place in a planned second series following the upcoming Defenders crossover between Iron Fist and fellow Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
“I’m not in the Defenders, no,” the actor confirmed. “The crux of Danny and Davos’ story I think really begins towards the end of season 1, and I think they didn’t want to start it straight away into the Defenders, and wanted to save it for series 2.”
Dhawan says it’s “fingers crossed” that such a follow-up will still take place, so it’s still a little uncertain as to whether Davos will ever reach his full potential. Still, whatever happens then, for now fans may finally have a reason to be interested in Iron Fist again.
Iron Fist series 1 is streaming on Netflix now