Filmmakers cut a female villain from the third installment of the Iron Man movies after Marvel decided a female villain toy wouldn't sell as well as a male one, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black revealed in an interview with Uproxx published online Monday. Iron Man 3 hit theaters in 2013 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.
According to Black, the script for Iron Man 3 originally called for a prominent female villain. However, the script was instead changed to replace her with a male villain, scientist Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, "because of toy making," Black said.
"In the earlier draft, the woman was essentially Killian — and they didn't want a female Killian, they wanted a male Killian," Black told Uproxx. "I liked the idea, like Remington Steele, you think it's the man, but at the end the woman has been running the whole show. They just said, 'no way.'"
While Marvel has several major female characters in its universe, of the franchise's 22 films released or announced, only one — Captain Marvel, set for release in 2019 — has a lead female, according to Screen Rant.