Influenced by this summer’s highly anticipated “Iron Man 3,” which during production filmed a different version in order to appease government officials in China, several film schools nationwide have revealed plans to begin teaching their cinema students how to pander to that country more effectively. According to Elizabeth Daley, the Dean of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, How to Pander to China 101 is the most important class film schools have offered to their students since the introduction of last year’s How to Rewrite the Part of the Male Lead in Your Broad Comedy for Melissa McCarthy.
“I’m proud at how far Hollywood has come,” added DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who announced plans to open a new animation facility for his company in China. “We used to blacklist screenwriters for being communists. Now we’re taking script notes from a communist government. That’s real progress.”
Although recent releases including “Red Dawn,” “Looper,” “Men in Black 3,” “21 & Over” and the upcoming Brad Pitt zombie film “World War Z” have changed their films to appease China officials, “Iron Man 3” has gone to the greatest lengths to appeal to the Chinese government. Among the changes included in the Chinese version of “Iron Man 3” are more shots of Beijing, a special appearance by China’s top actress Fan Bingbing, and Tony Stark deciding to have his Iron Man suit built in China because of their superior manufacturing. In addition, the filmmakers decided to cast blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng as the film’s villain, whom Iron Man must stop from spreading lies about China’s human rights violations.
Though film purists immediately attacked Hollywood’s decision to alter their films for China as a new low for an industry that values commercial interests over artistic ones, “Iron Man 3” star Robert Downey Jr. fully supports the trend.
“While filming ‘The Shaggy Dog’ remake with Tim Allen, he told me that there’s no shame in a movie star trading artist integrity for bigger worldwide box office,” Downey told a class of a students at UCLA film school. “Besides, I’m confident that no matter how many different versions of ‘Iron Man 3’ we release, they can’t be any worse than the disappointing ‘Iron Man 2.’”
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