Over on Uproxx, Shane Black - writer of Iron Man 3 - has just dropped a bombshell on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We've known for a long time that office politics in Marvel caused a lot of trouble, eventually forcing Disney to restructure the company last year. But it seems they had seriously interesting impacts on Iron Man 3.
Asked about Rebecca Hall's Maya Hansen, Black commented:
"All I’ll say is this, on the record: There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female."
It's a matter of record that Marvel's reclusive CEO Ike Perlmutter has never believed that female superheroes sell. That's why we're yet to get a Black Widow movie, and why one controversial toy based on a scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron had Black Widow replaced with Captain America.
But now we're learning that Perlmutter's concern with the toy merchandise actually forced a rewrite of the script.
Black's careful to add that the problem was with Marvel corporate, not Kevin Feige. When Ike Perlmutter's name is dropped into the conversation, he doesn't exactly leap to Perlmutter's defene.
"Yeah, Ike’s gone. But New York called and said, “That’s money out of our bank.” In the earlier draft, the woman was essentially Killian – and they didn’t want a female Killian, they wanted a male Killian. I liked the idea, like Remington Steele, you think it’s the man but at the end, the woman has been running the whole show. They just said, “no way.”"
Kevin Feige has described Iron Man 3 as one of the hardest Marvel movies to make. Perhaps one reason is that office politics weakened the movie, right down to completely forcing the villain to be gender-swapped.
Do you think this would have been a better plot? Let me know in the comments!