Iron Man 3 director reveals the story Marvel refused to let him tell

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Apr 22, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT

You can credit a lot of Marvel’s box-office success to the fact that they take the comic canon seriously, but there’s apparently one Iron Man storyline they still won’t let make it to the big screen. So what is it?

The acclaimed “Demon in a Bottle” storyline from the late 1970s, which focused on Tony Stark’s struggle with alcoholism, is apparently off limits. It was groundbreaking at the time, and represented a real, human trial for Iron Man. 

But in film? Apparently Disney and Marvel think it’s a little too dark. In an interview with Comic Book Movie, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black had this to say when asked if there was any storyline Marvel axed:

“The drinking. Even if you look at the websites of the mommy bloggers they say, you know, 'Watch out, mom's! Tony drinks in this movie!' It's amazing. There's one or two scenes in this movie where he picks up a drink and it'll be in those blogs...

I think we were just told by the studio that we should probably paint Tony Stark as being kind of an industrialist and a crazy guy, or even a bad guy at some points, but the Demon in a Bottle stuff of him being an alcoholic wouldn't really fly. I don't blame that.”

Disney wants these flicks to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and alcoholism is a pretty heady subject to throw into a superhero movie. But it’s still interesting that Marvel doesn’t want to tackle one of the character’s most famous arcs, and fans have been patiently waiting for the bottle to rear its head at some point. Apparently they’ll have to keep on waiting.

Do you think Marvel is making the right move, or would you like to see a "Demon in a Bottle"-inspired storyline?

(Via Comic Book Movie)