EXCLUSIVE: ‘Iron Man 3’ Writer Unrepentant Over Twist That Upset Fans

Chris Tilly
Movies Marvel
Movies Marvel MCU

The following article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3. Which you really should have seen by now.

When Iron Man 3 hit screens back in 2013, it seemed to split superhero fans in quite dramatic fashion. Some loved what the film did with the Mandarin, setting Ben Kingsley up as the Marvel supervillain, only to reveal that Kingsley was in fact playing an English actor pretending to be the Mandarin. With the real villain of the piece Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. Others hated this approach, disliking having the rug pulled from under them, and feeling that the movie betrayed a beloved character.

Five years on, we asked Drew Pearce — the director of Hotel Artemis, who co-wrote Iron Man 3 with director Shane Black — how he felt about the controversy.

“I Am Utterly Unrepentant”

Drew Pearce: “It f***ed everyone off. We are unrepentant. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of, that twist. I managed to Trojan Horse an idea from Adam Curtis’s The Power of Nightmares into a $1.3bn movie. And I think the idea of governments or corporations building up false faces and demonising otherness to distract from their own nefarious deeds has only proven to be more and more correct over the last five years since the movie came out.

I also still can’t believe that we managed to get a surprise into a summer movie. I guess Infinity War managed to do the same thing. But I am utterly unrepentant and I know Shane is too.”

Iron Man 3 – A Peculiar, Weird Beast

Drew Pearce: “Shane and I are still really good friends. That whole movie… I don’t think I realised at the time because it was my first massive film to work on as a screenwriter, but Shane and I were the only two people that ever touched a keyboard in the entire three years of the making of Iron Man 3. And that just doesn’t happen. To the degree that the Writer’s Guild didn’t believe that other writers hadn’t been brought in at some point because there was no precedent for it.

“The whole Iron Man experience I’m still super-proud of. In the same way that Hotel Artemis is eccentric and idiosyncratic, I think Iron Man 3 is very much its own weird beast. And I’m very proud of the peculiarity of that movie. I think it’s really re-watchable, and I don’t think Downey’s ever been better as Stark.”

Drew’s new film Hotel Artemis hits UK screens this Friday, July 20, while you can watch out interview with the cast below.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.