It’s good to be China these days. Thanks to their 50 bazillion citizens and an iron fist-like control over any and all movies that shows in Chinese theaters, the country has been able to basically dictate things to Hollywood. There’s a reason they call it show business, after all.
Marvel, through “Iron Man 3”, hitched their wagon to China long ago, by partnering up with the country even before production began. Thanks to that partnership, the country will now be getting a China-only version of “Iron Man 3” that will include additional footage.
Here’s a press release by Marvel explaining the two different versions of the Shane Black movie:
Marvel Studios and DMG announced that a Chinese version of IRON MAN 3 will be released in China on a date to be announced in the near future. DMG, a Chinese media and entertainment company, collaborated with Marvel Studios on the Chinese elements in the film, and is marketing and distributing the film in China. While Marvel and DMG have decided not to apply for co-production status in China, the film includes significant Chinese elements. Renowned Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will appear in both the studio’s Chinese version of the film and in its international and domestic US version. Both versions of the film include Iron Man 3 footage filmed in Beijing in December. The Chinese version of the film will also feature a special appearance of China’s top actress, Fan Bingbing, and will offer specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience. Marvel Studios’ experience working on this film with Fan Bingbing and Wang Xueqi and in shooting in China has been very positive and has created a springboard for future collaboration with China’s talented stars and its growing film and television industry. The IRON MAN cast and filmmakers look forward to bringing IRON MAN back to China.
Doesn’t sound like there’s going to be all that much of a difference between the Chinese version and the one the rest of the world will see in terms of plot, except maybe a few extra scenes of the Chinese characters’ home life. I’m not sure how that really matters to the overall story (it probably doesn’t), but Fan Bingbing is a pretty popular actress in China, and this seems to confirm that.
You can actually see some of those Chinese footage in a recently released Chinese trailer, featuring both Bingbing and Wang Xueqi:
“Iron Man 3”, starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Dale Badge, Jon Favreau, Ashley Hamilton, bootjets back into theaters this May 3, 2013.
Here’s a pic of Fan Bingbing, by the way: