Fanboys, get ready. Marvel Studios has announced that it will be releasing not one, but two versions of “Iron Man 3” this year. Granted, one may prove a little difficult at getting your hands on.
A special version of the Robert Downey Jr.-starrer has been made for the Chinese market, with the increased number of significant Chinese elements. A joint statement from Marvel and DMG Entertainment, the film’s Chinese distributor, reads: “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.”
The statement also details the hope of future collaborations: “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.”
One wonders how the Chinese audience will respond to the film’s villain, The Mandarin. As described by the film’s co-writer and director Shane Black to Yahoo! Movies, the character, played by Ben Kingsley, is no longer Chinese, as he was in the comics, but “draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsessions with Sun Tzu in various ancient arts of warfare that he studied.”
Perhaps this special Chinese version is a way of appeasing a very large portion of the international market?