Shane Black Says ‘Iron Man 3’ Had a Female Villain Who Was Cut Over Toy Sale Concerns

Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production.

“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,” Black said in interview with Uproxx.

“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,'” Black added.

Black said many of the female roles were reduced in “Iron Man 3” including Stephanie Szostak’s and Rebecca Hall’s.

Comic-book fans became critical of the film after one of the main villains of the “Iron Man” universe, Mandarin, was revealed to not be main antagonist in a plot twist. Guy Pearson took over the role as the villain, playing scientist Aldrich Killian.

“In the earlier draft, the woman was essentially Killian – and they didn’t want a female Killian, they wanted a male Killian,” Black continued. “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.'”

Black said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, had nothing to do with the decision and that “we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”

More Film

  • Cher and Meryl Streep'Mamma Mia! Here

    How the Cast of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Geeked Out Around Cher

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • 'BuyBust' Review

    Film Review: ‘BuyBust’

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • John Malone

    John Malone, Scott Paterson Retiring From Lionsgate Board

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Parent's Stock Plunges Again to Record Low

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • Timothee Chalamet

    Timothee Chalamet in Talks to Star in Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune'

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • Taraji P Henson Sam Rockwell

    Taraji P. Henson-Sam Rockwell Drama 'Best of Enemies' Bought by STX

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

  • Harrison Ford plane incident

    Harrison Ford Eyes 'Call of the Wild' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Shane Black, director of “Iron Man 3,” revealed that the original villain in the third installment of the Iron Man franchise received a gender-swap before going into production. “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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content