Deadline has confirmed that top Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing's appearance in this summer's Marvel blockbuster Iron Man 3
will be limited to a single scene only included in the Chinese cut of the film.
There has been a lingering reluctance to confirm Fan's role in the film. She appeared at the inaugural press conference in Beijing last year, only to scarcely have been mentioned ever since. Last month, however, the Asian beauty could be clearly seen in a shot from the Chinese version of the trailer (a shot notably absent from the US version).
The reasons for Fan's absence from the international cut of the film remain unclear, but will likely come as a blow to Fan, who has expressed her desire to break into Hollywood. 20th Century Fox will likely be disappointed too, as Fan has just been cast in the latest installment of their X-Men franchise, and the early exposure could have helped with their eventual marketing campaign.
Also mentioned in the piece is the fact that the film, co-produced by Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainent, will NOT be seeking co-production status in China. This goes against everything we have heard thus far, namely that the film was looking to be credited as a part-Chinese film, thereby exempting it from the quota system and guaranteeing it a wide opening in the country. There are currently no details why they have changed their decision, and reasons could range from a disagreement over profit shares, to final cut...to almost anything in fact. That said, with Wang Xueqi in a prominent role and a substantial amount of the film shot on the mainland, the film will almost certainly have a strong opening and is expected to perform well.
Iron Man 3 has yet to confirm a release date in mainland China, but when it does it will join the growing ranks of films like Looper and 21 & Over - American movies with Chinese financing that have included additional footage solely for the benefit of Chinese audiences.
Iron Man 3 opens in Hong Kong on 25 April and in North America on 3 May.
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