It was long ago that fans first learned the original villain of Iron Man 3 was very different from what fans saw in theaters. Director Shane Black revealed that Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) was meant to be the film’s overarching baddie but that Marvel Studios executives vetoed the decisions. And, now, the actress has confirmed those rumors are true.
Rebecca spoke with Postmedia Network and talked about the controversial reveal. Saying the story is “100% true,” the actress revealed, saying she’s “been gagging to talk about it with someone, but I haven’t had the opportunity, weirdly.”
“I signed on to do something that was a substantial role. She wasn’t entirely the villain – there have been several phases of this – but I signed on to do something very different to what I ended up doing,” she continued.
The actress’ words match those which Black shared earlier this year. Talking with Uproxx, the director confessed that Rebecca’s character “was bigger at one point and we reduced it.”
“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,” he said. “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...So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”
Of course, the reveal caused a wave of backlash to target Marvel Studios. Fans have criticized the company for their failure to cast female superheroes, and for those heroines who’ve made it on film, many of them get little to no merchandise.
Rebecca nodded to the intense fan reaction, saying, “Look, (Marvel) is paying for their mistakes right now and I applaud them for casting Brie Larson in Captain Marvel. Hallelujah. It’s about time women started being the heroes of things.”
Another Marvel alum has also spoken out about the marketing misfire. Jessica Jones’ Krysten Ritter told Stephen Colbert during an interview that “Girls can sell toys,” after he told the actress about the rumor.
However, even if Rebecca had been allowed to play the central villain in Iron Man 3, that doesn’t mean fans would have approved of her anymore than Guy Pierce. Many were outraged by how the film handled the inclusion of Mandarin in the first place, something which Black has also commented on.
“I’m a people pleaser. 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.”
The film he’s referring to is a Marvel One Shot that retcons Mandarin in Iron Man 3 as the ‘real’ villain demands to meet the shoddy actor who hijacked his identity.
[H/T] Toronto Sun