Tailoring ‘Iron Man 3’ for Chinese audiences

I understand trying to please your audience, but this takes that notion beyond the norm.

The “Iron Man 3” that you’ll see when it’s released here next Friday will be different from the one that Chinese audiences will see.

Those crafty movie people will edit into the movie what Marvel Studios is calling “significant Chinese elements,” according to Entertainment Weekly. It will also add Chinese star Fan Bingbing.

Why? Well, China now has the second most profitable movie market. Yes, the U.S. still ranks first, but Hollywood studios are nothing if not box-office-centric, and they clearly think that courting Chinese audiences will help increase their take.

The Associated Press reports that the Chinese government has had a hand in all this, encouraging studios to develop alternate versions of films, as Marvel is doing with “Iron Man 3.”

The AP says that the government would also like studios to cut certain things — such as stories that “denigrate the Chinese leadership and removal of lurid depictions of sex and violence.”

I long ago came to realize that major feature films had become more commerce than art, but still. Changing a movie into varying versions to court different audiences undercuts a filmmaker’s artistic vision.

What do you think of Marvel producing an alternate version of “Iron Man 3”?

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