Marvel Studios will release a special cut of the movie “Iron Man 3” specifically for China, the Walt Disney Co. subsidiary said Friday in a joint statement with Chinese media company DMG.
The domestic, Chinese and other international versions of the comic book film will all include elements of interest to Chinese audiences — “Iron Man 3” pits Robert Downey Jr.’s industrialist superhero against scientist-villain the Mandarin (British-Indian actor Ben Kingsley, playing a character who was Chinese in the comic books). Director Shane Black filmed scenes in Beijing in December with Chinese actor Wang Xueqi playing a character named Dr. Wu.
But the Chinese version of the film will also include special bonus footage, including an appearance by Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, according to the statement.
This isn’t the first time a Hollywood production has tailored itself for the fast-growing Chinese film audience. The 2012 Joseph Gordon-Levitt science-fiction film “Looper” employed a similar approach, including footage of Shanghai streets and landmarks only in the Chinese version of the film.
“Iron Man 3” will not — as representatives for DMG previously claimed — have co-production status in China, which means the movie will need to be one of the up to 34 foreign films the Chinese government allows to be released there each year under its quota system.
“Iron Man 3” will open in many locations around the world in late April, and in the U.S. on May 3. The Chinese release date has not yet been set.