In the original script for Iron Man 3, the metallic crusader faced off against a formidable female foe. But in the end, it wasn’t Iron Man who defeated her—it was Marvel’s concerns over toy sales.
“We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female,” Shane Black, the movie’s director, told Uproxx.
Just like that, Iron Man’s nemesis became a man, ultimately played by Guy Pearce. The character, Dr. Aldrich Killian, is traditionally male in the comic books, but Black and the other screenwriters had hoped to do a female version of him.
“I liked the idea, like Remington Steele, you think it’s the man but at the end, the woman has been running the whole show,” Black added. “They just said, ‘No way.’”
Black would not specify which Marvel executives killed the character.