In news which seems purposefully designed to further complicate the already-bananagrams geopolitics of the Iron Man franchise, Marvel Studios announced today that they were releasing a special Chinese-only version of Iron Man 3. The film was partially shot in China with the assistance of Chinese media company DMG Entertainment — which also co-produced Looper — and the decision to create a special version of the film for China represents Hollywood’s most bold attempt yet to appeal to the fast-growing Chinese film audience.
The press release from Marvel makes it clear that Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will appear in all versions of the film, and also that the domestic version will include scenes shot in Beijing — which, non-spoiler alert, probably means there will be a really exciting scene where Iron Man flies over the Forbidden City, but probably not Red Square, and also maybe Tony Stark asks JARVIS to google “Great Leap Forward” and curiously gets no results. The Chinese version will feature “a special appearance” by famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who is also appearing in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Chinese release will also include “specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience.” Baseless rumor: The specially prepared bonus footage will include Tony Stark dreaming about a unicorn, therefore proving decisively that he was secretly a Brony all along.
Marvel concludes its press release by noting that the experience of working in China was “very positive and has created a springboard for future collaboration with China’s talented stars and its growing film and television industry.” Hopefully this means that they’ve already hired Zhang Yimou to make an epic martial-arts Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu movie. Or maybe Avengers 2 will include a really exciting scene where Hulk jumps over the Great Wall and says something like “Wall not so great! Hulk is greatest wall!”
Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich