The villain in Iron Man 3 was supposed to be female
Shane Black, director of Iron Man 3, has said that Marvel made him and the co-writer of the superhero film create a totally new script because the first one had a woman as the lead villain and the comic giant wanted a man instead.
Black made these (not entirely shocking) revelations in an interview with Uproxx, stating that Marvel studio execs nixed the script in the first instance because they were worried that the toy version of the villain wouldn't sell as well as a male antihero.
The villain was then changed from a woman to Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian after this request was made.
"In the earlier draft, the woman was essentially Killian — and they didn't want a female Killian, they wanted a male Killian."
"Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female."
The villain was supposed to have been played by Rebecca Hall, whose part (Dr. Maya Hansen) was given an abrupt ending in the film for the extensive rewrites needed.
(Images via Marvel)