‘Iron Man 3’ director says Tony Stark alcoholism subplot was nixed by the studio

If Shane Black and Drew Pearce had it their way, Tony Stark would’ve been battling more than just the Mandarin in this summer’s “Iron Man 3.”

In a recent interview with Comic Book Movie, the writer-director and co-screenwriter, respectively, claim that while Stark’s alcohol problems (inspired by the classic “Demon in a Bottle” storyline from the late 1970s) were definitely a factor in the original script for the threequel, the studio ultimately requested that they nix the subplot from the movie’s shooting draft.

“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,” said Black. “I don’t blame [them for] that.”

“It’s also kind of a ‘pick your battles’ thing,” added Pearce, who described Stark as being “more rock ‘n’ roll” in the first draft of the screenplay. “Alcoholism is a massive problem but it’s also not the best villain for a movie.

Nevertheless, Black says, don’t count out the possibility of a future “Iron Man” film dealing with the subject.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point someone wanted to make a movie and they’d run out of directions for the character, then they’ve still got Demon in a Bottle,” he stated.

What do you think of the studio’s decision not to include Tony Stark’s alcoholism in the finished film? Sound off in the comments.

“Iron Man 3” hits theaters on May 3.