Mainland version of Iron Man 3 chock-full of Chinese character(istic)s

Iron Man & Dr. Wu
Iron Man & Dr. Wu
The soon-to-be-released blockbuster sequel of a sequel Iron Man 3 will be heavily modified for Chinese audiences when it opens in China on May 3rd, revealed an article in The Hollywood Reporter.

Specifically scenes featuring the character Dr. Wu and his assistant (played by Chinese stars Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing respectively) have been heavily truncated or removed outright from the international version of the film. Or perhaps, “never added in” is a better way to phrase the “edits”.

The film’s two producers, Marvel Pictures and DMG Entertainment, had earlier announced the release of a specific version dedicated to the Chinese market, with a pledge to include more China-set scenes. The statement also explained how sequences featuring actress Fan Bingbing will be exclusively seen by Chinese audiences — another way of saying how the A-lister is basically cut out of the international version altogether.

As it turns out, Wang’s character would also be more properly fleshed out in the Chinese cut only. One would have expected more of the actor in the film, as he has featured prominently in the Chinese promotional campaigns for the project — he actually embraced Downey on stage and then took part in a panel discussion of the film with the lead actor during a high-profile publicity event in Beijing earlier this month.

But what is left of Wang’s role in the international cut is just four shots at the beginning of the film, when Dr. Wu is introduced to Stark in a party in the Swiss capital of Bern in 1999. He is shown saying hello in Chinese to Stark, before the future superhero is dragged away to meet someone else. A fleeting glimpse of a masked Wang would appear in a present-day sequence towards the very end of the film, as he operates on Stark. (source)

The article also explained that some Chinese, having watched the China-facing marketing material for the film, were disappointed upon seeing the international cut and its decidedly less-Chineseness. What it means for your average foreigner in China is that Hollywood has given us virtually zero reason to shell out 100RMB to see Iron Man 3: The Chinese Cut instead of just waiting for it to appear as it was intended at the local DVD shops and torrent sites.

Further Reading

Check out Hollywood in China — What’s the price of admission?, a discussion between Jonathan Landreth, Ying Zhu, Jeremy Goldkorn and Shai Oster on the increasing number of Hollywood-Beijing team-ups, and what it all means for the film industry.

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