Iron Man 3 director Shane Black told Uproxx that he was forced to change a female character into a male for the 2013 film

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated May 18, 2016 11:40 AM
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A female villain was booted from the Iron Man 3 script over fears for toy sales, the film’s director Shane Black revealed to Uproxx in a new interview.

When asked about problems filming the 2013 movie, Black revealed that a version of Rebecca Hall‘s character Maya Hansen was originally meant to be the villainous mastermind.

“All I’ll say is this, on the record: There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female.”

He continued, “So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making.”

Black quickly added that Marvel’s leadership, which ordered the script change, is now different.

The female baddie was eventually turned into Aldrich Killian, the scientist behind the Extremis virus, who was portrayed by Guy Pearce.

“Now, that’s not [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige],” Black, 54, added. “That’s Marvel corporate, but now you don’t have that problem anymore.”

The director’s revelation comes after merchandisers faced backlash last year for omitting Star Wars: The Force Awakens lead female character Rey from initial toy releases.

Spawning the social media hashtag “#WheresRey,” fans were upset to find that Rey wasn’t in a box collection of figures and The Force Awakens Monopoly game.

“I will say that it seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the Star Wars world in terms of merchandizing,” the film’s director J.J. Abrams said during the Television Critics Association’s press tour in January, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I read that she wasn’t in the Monopoly game and was quickly making phone calls about this because if it were true – and it is true, and now Hasbro, of course, has said they’re going to put Rey in – it doesn’t quite make sense why she wouldn t be there. She’s somewhat important in the story.”

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Black’s new movie, The Nice Guys – starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe – hits theaters on Friday.