Remember that piece of potentially huge box office news that turned out not to be true at all? You know, when it appeared that “Looper” had opened bigger in China than it did domestically? Well, we’re not quite there yet, but there’s certainly an increased trend of big movies making changes purely to target specific overseas markets. In some cases – as was the case for “Looper” – a different cut of the movie is released in a foreign territory which panders specifically to that market (and the financiers lending coin to the production). It looks like the next film to go down that route could be Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3,” which has just added a new cast member.
Empire got a first look at images of Wang Xuequi in character as Dr. Lu in the new movie, who will be best known to Western audiences for roles in “Warriors of Heaven and Earth” and “Bodyguards and Assassins.” Deadline (who refer to Xuequi as the “Sean Connery of China”) also reported on the news and they believe that the role “is not a huge one.” But that’s not where the film’s flirtation with China ends. On Monday they actually started shooting some new scenes in Beijing, which, once concluded, will finally end photography on the picture.
With the film already locked in for Chinese distribution via DMG Entertainment, we wonder if this extra material and the appearance of Wang Xeuqui will be added to boost box office prospects overseas, but remain AWOL on this side of the ocean. We’ll just have to wait and see, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. We’ll find out for sure when the film debuts on May 3, 2013.