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Shane Black talks Iron Man 3, THAT twist, Marvel’s apologising, why he couldn’t have a female villain and drops possible Iron Man 4 director

May 20th, 2016 by Marc Comments


Ok, so Iron Man 3 is truly a love it or loathe it movies.

Personally, I love it, but I know there’s a few here at FTN who, well, don’t.

Now director Shane Black, promoting his new movie The Nice Guys, spoke to Uproxx  about the third Iron Man movie and what is almost was.

You many remember Rebecca Hall’s character in the movie? She played Maya Hansen, the scientist who discovered Extremist and who was later killed quite swiftly by Killian, played by guy Pearce?

Well, Black hints that in the first draft of the script she was the big bad, not Killian, but the studio, under Ike Perlmutter, was not happy with a female villain: “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.”


This is a pretty damning claim: “So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making. Now, that’s not Feige. That’s Marvel corporate, but now you don’t have that problem any more [because Ike Perlmutter is gone]”.

He goes on to say it wasn’t just Perlmutter: “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.”

He goes on to say that Kevin Feige was not involved in any way and that he’s a big fan of Feige because he does things right but he also says he’s not sure who gave the order: “I don’t know if it was Ike, I don’t know who it was. They never told me who made the decision, we just got that memo one day and it was about toy sales. That’s all I know.”

He also talks about the twist in the movie involving The Mandarin and how it exploded in their faces because they underestimated how important Madarin was to people: “They [Marvel] didn’t care. But when the blowback hit, they cared. We didn’t know. We all thought they’d eat it up because it never occurred to us the Mandarin is as iconic to people as, say, the Joker in Batman.”

But he also realised that it would be hard to do Mandarin and his magic rings properly: “They [the fans] just wanted to see the magic rings shoot lasers. You’d need to take the pi#@ out of it and explain how this can happen. In the comic books, it’s literally magic. It’s magic from outer space.”

But after the movie, after the ‘miscalculation’ of the twist, Marvel felt they had to apologise to the fans and they did: “Marvel saw so many negative things they made a whole other movie just to apologize called Hail to the King. In which they said, “No, no, the Mandarin is still alive. That wasn’t him. There’s a real Mandarin.” The only reason they made that was an apology to fans who were so angry.”

With Robert Downey Jnr now open to doing another Iron Man, would black come back?: “Memories are short. You can go through hell together, then six months later go, “That was kind of fun, wasn’t it, John?” The good news is, Downey and I seem to get on pretty well.”

That said, Black is pretty sure Downey Jnr knows who he’d like to direct Iron Man 4, if it happened: “I think he [Downey Jnr] wants Mel Gibson to direct it: “And for good reason. Mel was great to him. Mel’s been really nice to a lot of people, including me. I’ll go on record saying I don’t believe anyone should be held accountable in any way for something they say while they are drunk… Mel’s a great guy and I understand his new directing project is actually quite interesting.

“Yeah, one of these days, maybe Downey Jnr will do another one. I’d love to work with Robert again.”

We’d love to see Black doing another Iron Man…

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….