As noted by Indiewire, it appears that Iron Man 3 could have taken a radically different direction. Spoilers ahead!


Director Shane Black and writer Drew Pearce appeared on Empire Magazine’s film podcast to discuss the movie, and interestingly enough talked a bit about the plot points which got cut out prior to filming. Notably, a few villains were cut and replaced with the ones seen in the film, but also — it appears that one of the originally planned subplots for the film would have seen Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts sleep with Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian partway through the movie.

Not entirely of her own will, though! It looks like this would have been as a result of Killian’s ‘Extremis’ upgrade, which would have allowed the villain to be ‘pheremonially enhanced’ that Pepper ‘couldn’t resist him’. Having slept with her, he would then have posted a sex tape to broadcast on national TV. It’s a little similar to a storyline which happens between Iron Man and Black Widow in Ultimates 3, in fact.

But! Didn’t happen. Which is good, because frankly it seems like it would’ve thoroughly disrupted the rather lovely relationship between the two leads. As well as being, y’know, absolutely creepy and weird. It was thrown out at the writing stage though, and was never planned to be in the film proper. But it could have been!

You can listen to the whole of Empire’s podcast – the interview starts 45 minutes through – on their website, right here. And I’d really recommend it actually, because the presenters are knowledgeable and canny in their review of the film, bringing up obscure Marvel references in their comparison between the comic and the film.


  1. Yikes. Although I imagine this version of the script, even if written, would not have made it to filming. If Marvel is unwilling to bring Tony’s alcoholism to the films in any in-depth way I have to imagine they would veto what basically sounds like a roofie-date-rape-sex-tape subplot.

  2. I can’t help but wonder how many creepy / sexist elements are dropped from some projects, due to progress made by vocal fans who don’t appreciate the ‘way things have always been done’.

  3. “If Marvel is unwilling to bring Tony’s alcoholism to the films in any in-depth way …”

    I wonder if the fact that Downey has played drunks and addicts before — see “Zodiac” and “Less Than Zero” — makes him uninterested in going that route again. Especially when he knows every interviewer will ask how his real-life substance abuse problems helped him play the role.

  4. Right, Jimmy, because superhero stories have such a GOOD track record when it comes to depicting rape. OH WAIT.

  5. IRWIN, when you have faith in a writer that can tell a story , you have faith that if it is a subject that is controversial, they will present it in a way that address the subject like an adult. I also don’t hold other writers and artists responsible for things done before them and removed from them.

  6. Why would anyone have any faith in any superhero writer’s ability to address this particular subject?

  7. Irwin, because some might have first hand experience dealing with a situation. you would discount a writer because he enjoys writing superheroes? A lot of writers are very versatile and well researched ,and like i said, somethimes deal with certain subjects first hand in their lives.

  8. No, Jimmy, I am saying that superhero comics have an abjectly dismal record of dealing with rape plots, and there is absolutely zero reason to think a superhero movie would be any less inept in doing so. But perhaps you’re one of those people who left the theater and thought, man, that movie really needed more rape in it.

  9. I support anyone that can show an issue in a way where people become aware of something horrible like rape , make them aware of what it does to people, how it is violating and how to empathize with those that have been through the ordeal. The movie itself showed how terrorism and fear can manipulate people, which I thought was handeled fine, as well as how a man could deal with panic attacks and why they happen. Another cool thing to show that even a superhero has them, and shows why he had them. I think people see that and understand them more on some level. Superhero comics have taught me a lot growing up…Denny O Neils drug issues of GL/GA and spiderman’s dealing with drugs made a life long impression on me.

    Your last sentence above shows a lot about you after me writing respectful replies to you.

  10. “I trust if Shane Black was behind it, it would have been done well.”

    Yes, because his screenplay for “The Last Boy Scout” was in such good taste!

  11. “Superhero comics have taught me a lot growing up…”

    Pity the kids who grew up on superhero comics from the ’90s to the present, thinking women have basketballs under their shirts.

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