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Tuesday, April 23, 2013 

Disney doesn't have the courage to explore Tony Stark's alcoholism in 3rd Iron Man movie

Comic Book Movie's reported that Shane Black and Drew Pearce, two of the guiding hands behind the Iron Man movies, were not allowed by Marvel's current owner Disney to write up an exploration on alcohol as per the famous Demon in a Bottle story from 1979. They feature an excerpt from an interview they arranged:
Considering how dark Tony Stark's character is in the Marvel Universe is there anything that you wanted to put in the film but were told by the studio 'this won't play for kids'?

Shane: The drinking. Even if you look at the websites of the mommy bloggers they say, you know, 'Watch out, mom's! Tony drinks in this movie!' It's amazing. There's one or two scenes in this movie where he picks up a drink and it'll be in those blogs.

Drew: It's funny because it's only a glass of wine in this one, isn't it?

Shane: Yeah, so they'll say 'watch out because he drinks'. It's pretty amazing because it used to be you drank all the time in movies.
The problem is that today, not every moviemaker or studio has the courage to explore those problems even from a negative perspective. Yet, they have no qualms about altering the background of villains like the Mandarin just to appease China? Did it ever occur to them that the mommies they speak of could be just as troubled by a storyline that turns the villain from a resident of a foreign commie-style country into one who's more American instead? I don't see the logic here at all. What I do see is a lot of hypocrisy on the Disney Corp's part.

And all it does is make the news about this third film all the more dispiriting.

Update: speaking of China, there's more news about their impact on IM3 in this AP Wire report that tells how they're influencing Hollywood:
Coming soon to a theater near you: China's Communist Party.

From demanding changes in plot lines that denigrate the Chinese leadership, to dampening lurid depictions of sex and violence, Beijing is having increasing success in pressuring Hollywood into deleting movie content Beijing finds objectionable.

It's even getting American studios to sanction alternative versions of films specially tailored for Chinese audiences, like "Iron Man 3," which debuts in theaters around the world later this week. The Chinese version features local heartthrob Fan Bingbing - absent from the version showing abroad - and lengthy clips of Chinese scenery that local audiences love.

There's no secret to what's driving Hollywood's China policy, which has burst on the scene with meteor-like intensity in the past year. Already the second-biggest box office in the world, China seems set to surpass the U.S./Canada market by 2020 at the latest. And with traditional movie funding sources drying up, Hollywood studios increasingly see Beijing as a bankrolling destination of choice, with Chinese counterparts ponying up on glitzy co-productions, including "Iron Man 3" and next year's "Transformers 4," and films without a direct China connection as well.
Simply terrible. They're taking the easy way out yet at the same time potentially spending more money by altering the content of movies they'll sell in China. And the more they sell out to China, the worse movies are bound to become.

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Well, that's an interesting irony, considering how Wizard Magazine ruthlessly mocked Iron Man's alcoholism, back in the day. Things change so quick, don't they?

Disappointing Disney won't explore that, given how "real" comics are, these days, and it would have been nice to give that a fresh take. Oh, well.

Exit question: Think if Wizard would still do that, if they were around, today?

I don't know about that, but the thought of China deciding what goes into movies is pretty disturbing to me.

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