‘Iron Man 3’ had a female villain until corporate got involved – She Said/She Said

She Said/She Said is a (sporadically) daily video featuring HitFix Harpy Donna Dickens and HitFix Weekend Editor Jill Pantozzi discussing current events in geek news.


Not that long ago, Marvel was struggling with the idea that girls (and boys) wanted to see the ladies of the MCU represented in merchandise. Many social media campaigns were spawned questioning the absence of everyone from Black Widow to Gamora. With the removal of Creative Committee, the roadblocks gumming up the works to equal representation in action figures seems to be breaking up. But the effects from that time period are still being felt.

Back in May, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black revealed to Uproxx that Rebecca Hall”s character of Maya Hansen had originally had a far meatier role. That of the main villain.

“Rebecca Hall”s character was bigger at one point and we reduced it. 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 [from Marvel corporate] 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.”

Considering Iron Man 3 was released before the #WheresBlackWidow movement, this isn”t much of surprise. What is a surprise? How willing people involved in the project are willing to talk about it. Joining Black in confirming this dirty little marketing secret is Rebecca Hall herself. While promoting her film Christine at TIFF, the conversion turned to Iron Man 3. As reported by the Toronto Sun, Hall backed up Black”s statement:

“That”s 100% true […] I signed on to do something that was a substantial role. She wasn”t entirely the villain – there have been several phases of this – but I signed on to do something very different to what I ended up doing. Halfway through shooting they were basically like, ‘What would you think if you just got shot out of nowhere?” I was meant to be in the movie until the end… I grappled with them for awhile and then I said, ‘Well, you have to give me a decent death scene and you have to give me one more scene with Iron Man,” which Robert Downey Jr. supported me on.”

In the video above, HitFix Harpy”s Donna Dickens and Jill Pantozzi discuss this revelation, what it means for the future of Marvel, and if the cracks are beginning to show in the company”s usually united front.