With the global box office becoming ever more important to big US movies, and the Asian market an increasing chunk of that, it’s not surprising to learn that some films are being aimed specifically at audiences in countries such as China. The latest attempt to court Chinese cinemagoers comes in a modified version of Iron Man 3.
The third solo outing for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark will be distributed in China by the country’s DMG Entertainment, and while Marvel originally considered applying for co-production status thanks to elements shot there, that won’t happen.
Still, director Shane Black and the producers have shot specific content for the Chinese version, including footage with actor Wang Xueqi, which will appear in all releases of the movie, plus bonus material with Fan Bingbing (who has also signed on to X-Men: Days Of Future Past) that will only be seen in the Chinese version. Expect those to become hot items for Iron Man completists.
It’s not the first time that movies have added elements aimed at Chinese audiences – Looper’s release there included footage of Shanghai streets and landmarks, while many films have been altered after concerns from the country’s censors. The most famous example of recent changes is remake misfire Red Dawn, which changed the identity of its main villains from Chinese to North Korean largely by tinkering digitally with flags, symbols and dialogue. Plus, just today, comes a story about the producers of World War Z being advised to change a line in which China is identified as a possible source location for the zombie pandemic.
So now the campaign begins for a British specific version of Iron Man 3, in which Mr Bean helps Tony battle the Mandarin...