Originally Posted by seishin87
Well, Favreau had Mandarin in some of his early scripts for the first film, but from the sound of things had more to do with that Character's powers rather than who he was. If I recall Favreau's take was supposed to be a Chinese version of Tony Stark. He would have still been an Asian villain, an idea that would have been axed for IM3, given the Chinese funding, had it survived. It's no secret that China doesn't like movies that pit a western, white hero against an Asian antagonist and will censor or outright ban them.
Had The Mandarin been closer to Favreau's earlier idea China wouldn't have had anything to do with funding it. While it's Shane Black idea, and he's taking credit for it do you really think he's going to outright say something like "yeah I had this idea for IM3 but in some of the meetings with the various producers I was told that our Chinese co-funders would rather not have an Asian villain as the main antagonists" ? I'm not saying I'm correct, this is just speculation on my part but to think that things like that don't happen in the business is na´ve.
From what I've heard Mandarin wasn't even going to be in IM3 till late into scripting. Almost like they shoehorned the character in. I just get the feeling that there was far more to the changes to the Mandarin then just it's cool twist to divide the fans. They made a statement, a critique of stereotyped ethnic villains, in mainstream western entertainment and even the news media. If that was all Shane Black's idea and politics then...Bravo!
While I agree that concerns over the Chinese market was a gigantic factor in why we didn't get a Chinese Mandarin, Black did deride the character as a racist caricature shortly after getting the director's chair in 2011. So I'd imagine that the whole twist was more-or-less his idea since it doesn't seem as though he would have ever gone for a more faithful rendition of the character.