As “Iron Man 3” has been rolling out its publicity machine, appearing in a handful of stills has been Wang Xuequi, a popular Chinese actor who’s otherwise pretty much unknown stateside. Why has he been in there? Well, with the Marvel movie locking Chinese distribution via DMG Entertainment early, they’ve been eager to try and get a prime release date in the country (which is tricky for U.S. productions), and as such, shot a significant amount of footage in the nation. And they’re taking one extra step to ensure Chinese comic fans get something special.
Marvel has announced today that a special cut of “Iron Man 3” will be released in China, though there’s no date in place just yet. While Xuequi will feature in both versions of the movie, Fan Bingbing will only appear in the Chinese cut as a “special appearance.” Meanwhile, both versions will also have footage from the Beijing shoot, but the cut for China will have a bit more exclusive footage. A game changer? Not really so much as a new trend that’s emerging. Rian Johnson‘s “Looper” did the same thing last year, with a special version for the Chinese market that featured an even longer Shanghai sequence.
So superfans will have to do some legwork to see the (probably inconsequential) differences between the two movies. “Iron Man 3” opens on May 3rd. [Deadline]