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Will The Mandarin Be The Villain In 'Iron Man 3'?

Marvel plans to co-produce 'Iron Man 3' in China to reach Chinese audiences, but could their plans to shoot the film in China hint at the possibility of the Mandarin's appearance in the upcoming film?

When it comes to making movies, the goal of any film studio is always to reach the widest audience possible. So considering China has a population of 1.3 billion (according to the World Bank in 2010), it's no wonder why any film studio would want to reach that tremendous potential audience. The thing is, not just anyone can make a movie and distribute that movie in China; if you want to market a film to China, you need to meet their very strict guidelines -- particularly when the film is "foreign produced." So what's the best way to by-pass all the hurdles of making your movie accessible to Chinese audiences? Why, to produce the film in China, of course! Which is exactly what Marvel Studios and Disney have set out to do.

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Based on the latest press release from Marvel and Disney, Iron Man 3 will be co-produced in China; a move that will inevitably open a lot of doors for the upcoming film in a variety of different ways. Based on the press release from Disney one thing is certain, distributing the upcoming film to China is top priority for both Marvel and Disney.

== TEASER ==
“The popularity of the Marvel franchise globally creates a huge opportunity to deliver fans yet another action packed film,” said Stanley Cheung, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company, Greater China. “The co-production of IRON MAN 3 in China is testimony to the importance of this audience to Disney and the local industry capability to deliver a blockbuster title,” he added.

“We look forward to working alongside DMG to bring IRON MAN to the Chinese marketplace in a significant way. We are confident that Marvel’s stories will continue to be enjoyed by Chinese audiences, and adding a local flavor, and working with our new local partner, will enhance the appeal and relevance of our characters in China’s fast-growing film marketplace” said Rob Steffens, General Manager of Operations and Finance for Marvel Studios

One little tidbit of information from the press release definitely piqued our interest in a different way, however. According to the release, shooting for Iron Man 3 is expected to start in May of this year and move to China sometime during this summer. So, why does that matter? Well, one of Iron Man's biggest adversaries happens to come from China. The Mandarin was born into one of the wealthiest Chinese families and in the comics he consistently gave Tony Stark a run for his money. He is one of Iron Man's most menacing villains since he has the power to control ice, fire and has telekinetic and teleportation capabilities. Could Marvel be thinking of bringing the Mandarin into Iron Man 3? Could that be another reason why they may want to film in China? What do you think?

Source: SuperHeroHype