In the first Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.'s character spoke proudly of maintaining a big, loud tradition of doing things "how America does it." As we now know, how America usually does it these days it is cheaper and faster thanks to the assistance of China. So, like Big Bird before him, Tony Stark is taking his big yellow suit East.
Walt Disney and Marvel Studios today announced that Iron Man 3 will be a joint production with DMG Entertainment, a Chinese company that will handle distribution and some creative responsibilities from the People's Republic of China, where the Iron Man prop suits can be manufactured cheaply and safely so long as Robert Downey Jr. is very careful not to touch his lips or tongue to the plastic.
The film will reportedly also do some shooting in China, which is unsurprising considering that a single shot of Iron Man flying around Beijing will probably earn Disney an extra hundred million Yuan. But it could also be indicative of a major plot point: Iron Man's most bejeweled enemy, Mandarin, hails from China, so it would make sense to shoot there if he is the villain. Whether or not that ends up being the case, if nothing else, the decision to work with a Chinese company probably does at least confirm that Ben Kingsley will certainly not be the one playing Mandarin. After all, if you're really striving to be a hit in the Chinese market, you do not want your primary Chinese character to be Ben Kingsley in a changshan and a braided wig. What you do want is pornography that vibrates your ass, apparently.