Despite the luke-warm responses to Iron Man 3's special China cut, the movie's co-production company is looking to make the Chinese portions (most of which are cut from international release) into a short prologue film.
Two weeks ago we talked about the additional 4 minutes of footage found in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3 and how it upset many movie-goers in China (myself definitely included). Despite how out of place the Chinese scenes were in the movie, reports and interviews with the directors and producers have so far been very positive, and they should be; the movie is making money.
But in China, saving face also means a lot, and the Chinese co-production company DMG seems to have been listening to fans. In an interview with NetEase, DMG's co-founder and CEO, Wu Bing, came out and said that Iron Man 3's Chinese additions were a failure. Of course she then goes on to gloss over the fact that these parts were terrible.
"It's inevitable that the Chinese portions felt out of place, we couldn't make half the movie about China. The point was that we got to show China in there (the film) and western audiences know it's a Chinese doctor. The Chinese version is longer than the Hollywood version, and there have been movie-fans flying in to just see the extra scenes."
So now, after conceding that the Chinese additions to the movie didn't really do much, DMG is going ahead to create a short prologue to Iron Man 3. According to the interview with Wu on NetEase, the "prologue" will pull out the characters of Dr. Wang and the nurse played by Wu XueQi and Fan Bingbing and give them more screen time to shine. Supposedly it will help make sense of why the Chinese characters were in the movie in the first place.
According to Hollywood Reporter via Slashfilm.com, the "prologue" will be made up of scenes already shot that didn't make it into the main movie. Wu says that it will further promote China and the Chinese actors/actresses to the western audience (maybe because they barely had any screen time in the International cut of Iron Man 3).
Originally Iron Man 3 was being used as a prime example of a good Chinese co-production with the west. Unfortunately, Iron Man 3's Chinese additions didn't win many fans.
Basically China has a foreign film quota system. Only 34 (number fluctuates) foreign films can be shown in the country each year— that includes films from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. To gain co-production status, companies agree to add Chinese elements to a film. The elements tend to be more story oriented (China must somehow help the plot).
Many studios in Hollywood are cozying up with Chinese production houses to both attain the coveted "co-production" designation, thus allowing their films into Chinese market, bypassing the yearly quota as well as extra funding.
There has been no news on when the "prologue" will release, but so far NetEase says the prologue will be geared towards the China market. Seems kind of counter intuitive doesn't it, to promote China to itself?
[《钢铁侠》拟拍前传 范冰冰当主演唐尼或打酱油] [NetEase]
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