Last year, Rian Johnson's time-travel epic Looper had two versions — the U.S. cut, with a brief montage of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's time in China, and the Chinese cut, with a much longer Shanghai sequence. Now, Iron Man 3 takes this trend much, much further, as we move towards a future where China is increasingly important to movie studios.
As we reported a year ago, Iron Man 3 is technically a U.S.-China co-production. At one point, Andy Lau was going to co-star, but then he dropped out of the film early in production. But in the final cut, Chinese movie star Wang Xueqi (who's appeared in films by Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou) plays Dr. Wu. We were told a while ago that Dr. Wu has a complex character, who plays a major role in the storyline and "helps to save Tony Stark's life." But in the U.S. cut of the film, Dr. Wu has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the opening sequence. Meanwhile, Fan Bingbing, who's billed as being in the film, isn't in the U.S. cut at all.