Development on Marvel’s Iron Fist series marches forward, today announcing the casting of David Wenham as villain Harold Meachum. Wenham is well known to global audiences for his work as Faramir in two Lord of the Rings movies, and as 300’s Delios, the narrator and right-hand man to Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas. He also co-starred as a sidekick to Hugh Jackman’s vampire hunter in Van Helsing.
Though well-known in America Wenham is a true star in his native Australia, where his work on TV and stage dates back to the late 1980s. A quirky role on late 90s series SeaChange made him a national sex symbol, eventually leading him to be voted Australia’s sexiest man alive. While he loves acting and the opportunities he’s found in major film productions, he’s been vocal about his desire to one day try directing and his love for the intimacy of theater.
In Marvel’s announcement Iron Fist executive producer and showrunner Scott Buck commented:
I’m very excited to have David as our Harold Meachum. David is capable of displaying raw, visceral strength as well as extremely keen intelligence. This will add up to a character of complex depth who will keep us off balance all season.
Unlike his Lord of the Rings brother, Sean Bean, who has died in nearly all his roles, Wenham’s characters seem impossible to dispatch. He’s fought orcs, vampires, and even survived the Spartan massacre; his role as Meachum may not be so lucky.
The character is business partners with Danny Rand’s father, Wendell, and is directly responsible for the deaths of Wendell and his wife, Heather. As such he is instrumental in the development of Iron Fist’s character, as the deaths lead to the circumstances in which Danny shoulders the Iron Fist mantle. In the comics, Meachum pays for his actions through a life-changing, physically crippling accident, but it doesn’t change his ruthless and conniving leadership style.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) April 11, 2016
A teaser image from the production hinted that Meachum’s daughter, Joy, will also appear in the series though no casting news has come out. Joy becomes a player in Iron Fists world a little later in the storyline.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) March 17, 2016
The Iron Fist series will follow Luke Cage, which is scheduled for release on Netflix September 30, 2016. The four Marvel characters on Netflix – Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage will combine for The Defenders – which Daredevil actor Charlie Cox just confirmed will begin shooting this year.