As Iron Man 3 enters into its second weekend in domestic release, and third week internationally, plans are underway to showcase the Chinese actors who only briefly appeared in the U.S. version. Beijing-based co-producers DMG Entertainment are assembling a short film entitled The Prologue, which will prominently feature Chinese stars Xueqi Wang and Bingbing Fan.
Both actors appeared for only 10 seconds in the domestic and international versions of director Shane Black's blockbuster, but were seen for three minutes in the version crafted specifically for Chinese audiences, which we reported on back in March.
One scene in question, in the international release, was towards the end of the film, where Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) met with Dr. Wu (Xueqi Wang), who provided acupuncture surgery that healed his injuries. Bingbing Fan played Dr. Wu's assistant in the scene. In the domestic version, Dr. Wu meets with Tony Stark briefly, in the beginning of the film set in 1999. Another scene in the Chinese-only version featured Iron Man launching into the sky in front of Dr. Wu and a group of Chinese children, with Beijiing's Yongdingmen gate featured in the background.
Many international journalists have complained that both actors' roles were cut to token appearances in the film, which may be why this short film was created. There are no clear-cut plans for when and how this short film will be released, but some have speculated that it may end up on the Blu-ray and DVD release. Iron Man 3 has earned 482 million yuan since its release in China, which is equivalent to $78.6 million US dollars.