Iron Man 3 creators ditched plans to introduce a female villain simply because female action figures don’t sell well, according to Slash Film. So Marvel decided to change the gender of the villain just because they believed the merchandise wouldn’t bring them enough cash.
In fact, Iron Man 3 star Mark Ruffalo recently complained that when he took his daughters and nieces to a toy store, they couldn’t find Black Widow’s action figures. Black Widow was once the only female member of the Avengers team.
While promoting his new movie The Nice Guys, which hits theaters this weekend, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black revealed in one of his interviews that the production process as well as writing ran into some difficulties, as Marvel initially wanted to introduce a female villain but then thought it would be bad for its merchandise sales and swapped the gender.
The primary villain in Iron Man 3, which was released on May 3, 2013, played by Guy Pearce, was originally planned to be a female character. The revelation by Black came when he was asked if he had encountered any challenges when making the Marvel movie. In fact, the director revealed that they had to make huge changes in the script due to the gender swap.
“We replaced a lot of things. The plot went this way and that way. Stéphanie Szostak’s character was bigger at one point and we reduced it.”
Black revealed that Rebecca Hall’s character had a much bigger presence in Iron Man 3, but Marvel decided to reduce it since her action figure wouldn’t sell well. In the movie, Hall played Tony Stark’s former colleague who got involved with Aldrich Killian (played by Guy Pearce) later in the movie, according to Hypable.
— GameSpot (@gamespot) May 18, 2016
Black then went on to explain how it all had happened. So initially they got an early draft of Iron Man 3, where the main villain character was a female.
“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.”
Marvel planned to have a female character running the whole show in Iron Man 3 while viewers would think it’s a man. So it could be Rebecca Hall behind Aldrich Killian instead of Guy Pearce. And let’s admit it: Viewers would be more surprised to see a female actor behind the villain character and it would create a bigger “wow” effect at the end.
And while rewrites and changes in the script are not a rarity, it comes as somewhat surprising that such changes are made simply because some merchandise toys wouldn’t sell well. However, Iron Man 3 fans started investigating the matter deeper, and what they found was shocking and hilarious at the same time.
The thing is that Iron Man 3 fans had a hard time finding Guy Pearce’s action figure out there. In fact, it took them quite some time to find at least one online store selling the Aldrich Killian action figure.
I bet all the kids who saw Iron Man 3 just couldn't wait to get their hands on an Aldrich Killian toy like this. pic.twitter.com/G8wf5vk0L1
— Matt (@TheGeniusArcana) May 16, 2016
And most action figures are of Iron Man 3, which come in different suits and sizes. That’s why the franchise’s fans began to wonder if it really would have been a problem to have a female Aldrich Killian in the movie.
And while Marvel has been creating its cinematic universe for nearly a decade now, DC is very likely to be the first to release a movie centered around a female superhero. In fact, Marvel has long been criticized for not caring much about female characters in the movies.
[Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP Images]