IRON MAN 3 director/screenwriter says Marvel forced one major script change.
While promoting his new film The Nice Guys, director Shane Black dropped a pretty big reveal about one of his former projects, Iron Man 3.
In an interview with UpRoxxx, Black, who also co-wrote the film, said that villain Aldrich Killian was originally a female character, but the executive at Marvel told him that the villain needed to be male for a very specific reason:
“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 we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female. So we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”
He went on to say that “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.’” He also notes that he thinks it was Marvel corporate, not MCU head Kevin Feige, who made the call.
It’s unclear if that female villain was spun into Tony’s former love interest and AIM scientist Maya Hansen or Extremis virus super soldier Brandt–both of whom Black says had a better role in his original script, but it definitely seems like a possibility.
While the news is definitely disappointing, Iron Man 3 and its true villain were not fan favorites. Any major female characters will be scrutinized, so perhaps its best that this character wasn’t an underdeveloped disappointment and female, leaving less tolerant fans to blame the issues on the latter trait.
Marvel has not responded to Shane Black’s claims.