Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 could have been a very different story if the creators had stuck to their original idea for the villain facing off against Tony Stark.
During an interview with Uproxx, Black explained that the first villain idea was a female. In the end, the idea was scrapped because it was decided that toys wouldn’t sell if it was a female.
“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. We had finished the script and 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. So we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”
This wasn’t the only change to drafts of the script. Black explained that other female characters that appeared within the film, like Brandt (Stephanie Szostak) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), had larger roles within the story in the early drafts of the script.
Black wanted to clarify that the memos regarding the script came from “Marvel corporate,” not 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. And I don’t know if it was [Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter], I don’t know who it was. 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.”