Marvel’s latest Iron Man 3 trailer landed with a splash on Tuesday, showing a gritty, more somber side of Robert Downey Jr.’s wisecracking billionaire playboy, Tony Stark. Roughly 24 hours later – to considerably less fanfare, Stateside -- Marvel dropped a second, slightly recut version for the international market. Call it the China remix.
The tweaked Asia-targeted trailer (below) closely resembles the U.S. original, but offers additional glimpses of Chinese actor Wang Xueqi and actress Fan Bingbing, along with a scene of Iron Man taking flight amidst cheers from a group of Chinese schoolchildren in front of Beijing’s historic Yongdingmen gate.
Meanwhile, the Chinese blogosphere is rife with speculation about the film's rollout in China, with unconfirmed reports stating that Downey Jr. will be flying into Beijing for a three-day visit from April 4 to 6, during which he will attend the film's world premiere.
Jointly produced by Marvel and DMG, IM3 drew some fire when the film’s first teaser trailer was released in October and revealed no Chinese actors or China-set scenes. Traditionally, to officially pass as a co-production in China -- a status which would allow the film easier access to Chinese cinemas and its foreign producers a bigger slice of box office receipts -- projects must include significant participation from Chinese talent, and Chinese settings or motifs.
Since October, Marvel-DMG have gone to great lengths address the criticism, announcing the casting of Wang in the role of the Dr. Wu -- the Chinese surgeon who helps Stark fly faster and fight harder against Sir Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin, IM3's villian – and starlet Fan, as Dr. Wu’s medical assistant. Scenes were shot in Beijing early in December, and a few on-set snapshots leaked online (the timing seemed conspicuously opportune for DMG).
DMG declined to comment when the Hollywood Reporter reached out Thursday to enquire about the company’s marketing rollout for the film in China. But the Chinese micro-blogosphere was abuzz with excitement Thursday over a tweet from the Robert Downey Jr. Fan Club Weibo account “TeamDowney,” which seemed to suggest some insider information on the star visiting Beijing from April 4 to 6 for a world premiere.
"Details have not been confirmed yet, but what we know is that he will definitely be here [in Beijing] from the 4th to the 6th, and the premiere will be very solemn. And it won't be at Wanda CBD," said the post -- the last part referring to internet rumors about the screening taking place at a specific Beijing cinema. "We will be getting more confirmed information next week at the earliest -- once we have that, we will alert everyone!"