Iron Man 3 Changed Villain from Woman to a Man for Toy Sales

Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 Changed Villain from Woman to Man for Toy Sales, Says Director Shane Black

In 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” the villain was originally going to be a woman who was secretly pulling the strings of a man who the audiences only thought was the real villain. But the suits at Marvel took one look at the script and said, “No way.”

“New York called and said, ‘That’s money out of our bank,’” recalls the film’s director, Shane Black.

The reason? Action figure sales.

“We were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand, we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female,” Black tells Uproxx. “So we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”

Iron Man 3 Ultimately Made the Bad Guy Aldrich Killian, Played by Guy Pearce

The movie was rewritten to make the bad guy really a guy — evil scientist Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce.

Black, now directing the comedy action movie “The Nice Guys,” says he never found out who at corporate issued the edict but stresses it wasn’t current Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

“If you ever say anything about decisions made at Marvel, I hope you’ll qualify it by saying that Kevin Feige is the guy who gets it right,” he says. “They never told me who made that decision, we just got that memo one day and it was about toy sales. That’s all I know.”

Iron Man 3 Villain Gender Change Is Reminiscent of Star Wars Monopoly Game Lacking Daisy Ridley’s Character

The matter is reminiscent of Hasbro initially omitting Daisy Ridley’s character Rey from the Star Wars Monopoly game while including male characters Finn, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker and, from other Star Wars movies, Darth Vader.

The Rey character was ultimately included in the came, with the toymaker saying Rey wasn’t included “to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.”

Hollywood has faced criticism after several studies have pointed to widespread sexism in front of the camera and behind the scenes.