As there are now multiple versions of the Iron Man armor, there are now multiple versions of "Iron Man 3," as Marvel Studios has announced that it will be releasing a different cut of the film specifically for its Chinese release.
The announcement comes as part of Marvel's decision not to file for Chinese co-production status on "Iron Man 3," despite the fact that the film was produced in collaboration with Chinese-based production company DMG Entertainment. Securing co-production can aid in a film's efforts to earn a release in China, whose film industry -- which is expected to rival that of the U.S. in terms of box office in the next decade -- has strict parameters with both content and how many non-Chinese movies it will allow to screen in the country each year.
Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will appear in both the U.S. and Chinese versions of "Iron Man 3" as Dr. Wu, though popular Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who was recently cast as Blink in "X-Men: Days of Future Past," will only be featured in the Chinese cut as Wu's wife. The Chinese version will also feature bonus footage prepared exclusively for Chinese audiences.
"Iron Man 3" isn't the only recent major studio release that has been reworked specifically for a China release. Chinese audiences were treated with extra footage in an exclusive (and more Shanghai-centric) extended cut of Rian Johnson's "Looper," which was also co-produced by DMG. And "21 and Over" got a major rehaul that changed the film's ending, turning the film into a cautionary tale about the perils of the hedonistic West and the importance of embracing one's roots. (Yes, that was the movie about college kids drinking a lot and getting into lots of trouble.)
The Chinese release date of "Iron Man 3" has not been set, though the film will open in other international markets in late April before making its U.S. debut on May 3.
The full official statement from Marvel Films is below:
Marvel Studios and DMG announced that a Chinese version of "Iron Man 3" will be released in China on a date to be announced in the near future. DMG, a Chinese media and entertainment company, collaborated with Marvel Studios on the Chinese elements in the film, and is marketing and distributing the film in China.
While Marvel and DMG have decided not to apply for co-production status in China, the film includes significant Chinese elements. Renowned Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will appear in both the studio's Chinese version of the film and in its international and domestic US version. Both versions of the film include "Iron Man 3" footage filmed in Beijing in December. The Chinese version of the film will also feature a special appearance of China's top actress, Fan Bingbing, and will offer specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience.
Marvel Studios' experience working on this film with Fan Bingbing and Wang Xueqi and in shooting in China has been very positive and has created a springboard for future collaboration with China's talented stars and its growing film and television industry. The "Iron Man" cast and filmmakers look forward to bringing "Iron Man" back to China.
Watch the theatrical trailer for 'Iron Man 3':