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Friday, October 26, 2012 

Does the third Iron Man movie downplay the Mandarin's connections with China?

Here's a 2-minute trailer for the third Iron Man movie to be released next spring. The Mandarin is the main villain this time, but here's the curious part: is the studio going to refrain from depicting China in a negative light? According to this LA Times Hero Complex article:
BEIJING — The first trailer for “Iron Man 3” debuted Tuesday, giving fans a glimpse of Tony Stark’s new armor, snazzy shots of his seaside mansion under attack, and a first look at Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. One thing it doesn’t have: any hint of China.

In April, Walt Disney Co., Marvel Studios and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment announced with no small amount of fanfare their intention to make “Iron Man 3” a Chinese co-production. They talked about incorporating a Chinese angle into the script and said they expected to begin location filming in China in late summer.

“Adding a local flavor, and working with our new local partner, will enhance the appeal and relevance of our characters in China’s fast-growing film marketplace,” Rob Steffens, general manager of operations and finance for Marvel, said in a statement unveiling the deal. DMG Chief Executive Dan Mintz said at the time that the Robert Downey Jr. film would be “the first multibillion-dollar franchise to be produced between Hollywood and China.”
If this suggests something, the downside here is that they might try to appease the Chinese government by not being critical of their still prevalent communist policies, such as their one-child policy. And it certainly bothers me that Tinseltown is willing to do business with a country whose attitudes towards its own citizenry remain questionable.
China this year eased restrictions on the number of foreign movies it allows into the country and the amount of revenue that Hollywood studios can collect from box-office ticket sales there. On top of the 20 films previously allowed in each year under a revenue-sharing agreement, China agreed to permit an additional 14 so-called enhanced-format foreign films — those that are in 3-D or in Imax — into the country annually.

Zhang, of China Film Co-Production, said that she recently delivered a speech at Stanford University about U.S.-China film partnerships and co-productions, and the industry ties between the two countries.

“I think there are still many misunderstandings between the two sides,” she said. “Everyone knows there’s a huge market in China and everyone wants a share of this market, but you need to follow the rules when you enter a new market.”
We can't expect a local to acknowledge any local policies clearly, no doubt because she wouldn't want to get in trouble with the thought police, but neither can we be surprised if those rules include not being negative toward the Chinese government's commie positions. And that's what bothers me about a film production that may be going out of its way to appease China's rulers all for the sake of the money they can make from this movie. If it turns out that way, it'll sure be a far cry from past comics stories from Marvel that did portray communism negatively.

That said, the trailer does still look exciting, and the movie will likely be too.

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More than likely. Since the Mandarin is portrayed by Ben Kingsley, I think he's supposed to be an Islamist/of Middle Eastern descent and (presumably) the leader of the terrorist group from the first movie.

Good to see the same old racist stereotypes at work- hire a brit because brits are EEEVVIILLLL to play a Chinese communist supervillain.

I'm only surprised they haven't made Mandarin and the terrorism cell white anglo-saxons.

You are on to something, my friend.



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