Why Marvel's making 2 different versions of Iron Man 3

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Mar 30, 2013, 2:27 PM EDT (Updated)

Marvel is hard at work on the latest installment in the Iron Man franchise, but they’re apparently working doubly hard to create two different cuts. Huh?

Yes, that’s right, there will apparently be two different cuts of Iron Man 3—one for U.S. and international audiences, and another specifically tailored for Chinese moviegoers.

Marvel and Chinese distributor DMG announced the news today, and indicated the two cuts could have some fairly significant differences. A large portion of the story actually takes place in China, and the studios say that created a rare opportunity to try something of this magnitude.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement, which teases all the extra stuff Chinese audiences will get to see:

“While Marvel and DMG have decided not to apply for co-production status in China, the film includes significant Chinese elements. Renowned Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will appear in both the studio’s Chinese version of the film and in its international and domestic US version. Both versions of the film include Iron Man 3 footage filmed in Beijing in December. The Chinese version of the film will also feature a special appearance of China’s top actress, Fan Bingbing, and will offer specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience.”

As most sci-fi fans have noticed in recent years, this isn’t the first time that movies have been tweaked as they made the trip from the U.S. to China. It happened with Looper via a few extra filler scenes, and Cloud Atlas was actually gutted before opening in the country. 

But this is one of the biggest tentpoles ever to try it on this scale, and it could signal a new way of thinking when studios are putting these huge, expensive flicks together.

Do you think it makes sense to do two different versions of a movie?

(Via Deadline)