Iron Man 3 is getting ready to hit theaters worldwide in the coming months. However, it is being reported that moviegoers in the People's Republic of China will be getting a different version of the movie than everyone else. -- And get this, while the potential for ethically-questionable state-approved censorship is likely, the Chinese version will actually contain bonus footage!
During the genesis of the armored Avenger's third solo outing, an agreement between parties, Disney and Marvel Studios was made with Chinese company, DMG Entertainment to co-distribute the film in their country. The benefits to that relationship, besides new sponsors and promotional access to the largest single national population in the world was some aid towards including "Chinese elements" in the film; a cause that was also helped by some late-addition filming in capital, Beijing last December. Indeed, it does appear that this alternate version of the film will attempt on some level to cater to the (State-approved) sensibilities of Chinese audiences. (I shudder to think what they'll do with Don Cheadle's Iron Patriot.)
However, the changes go beyond just scenery. The Chinese edit of the film will not only feature scenes that are not available in the other worldwide releases, but will also feature ACTORS exclusive to this version, as well. Most notably among the additions, is a role for Chinese starlet, Fin Fang Foom...err, Michael Bisping...sorry, Fan Bingbing. Interestingly enough, the gorgeous actress already has her Marvel Comics dance card punched over at Fox with a role in next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
It's certainly not the first time that "adjustments" were made on the part of Hollywood to cater to the demands of the ever-growing Chinese film market. The most notable recent example of this was the remake of Red Dawn, whose depiction of the Chinese as enemy invaders ignited controversy, forcing a long post-production effort to recontextualize the antagonists into the North Koreans. Also, (and this is just pure speculation,) the fact that Ben Kingsley's role of Iron Man 3 villain, The Mandarin, who is traditionally of Chinese ethnicity was altered to be more ambiguous may not be such a coincidence, after all.
Iron Man 3 (OUR patriotic, baseball, bald eagles, and apple pie version of it, anyway) hits theaters on May 3. At this point, no date has been announced for the altered Chinese release.