The world needs more Rebecca Hall! She’s a powerhouse in just about every film and show that she’s in; just wait until you catch her Sundance Film Festival 2020 selection The Night House. I’d truly be shocked if that isn’t still one of my favorite 2020 performances by the end of the year. But more specifically, Iron Man 3 needed more Rebecca Hall, and she knew it.
While I do enjoy that Marvel movie a good deal, it’s abundantly clear that Hall’s character, Maya Hansen, was woefully underdeveloped and came no where close to maximizing Hall’s talents. As Adam Chitwood previous explained in his Iron Man 3 installment of his “How the MCU Was Made” series, Hall was originally supposed to have a bigger role in the film but the folks in charge over at Marvel Entertainment weren’t having it. Director Shane Black explained, “There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft.” Apparently he was told that this couldn’t stand because there were concerns that that toy wouldn’t sell as well if the character was female. Specifically, this was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter‘s doing.
Hall has spoken about this in the past, noting that she had originally signed on to do something very different, but while we were catching up for her upcoming Amazon series, Tales from the Loop, we opted to dig a little deeper and Hall added in one more curious detail for the original version of the character. Here’s what she said when we asked her to describe the early version of Maya Hansen:
“Yeah! She was meant to be a sort of – oh god, I can’t even remember probably now. In the first script that I read she was in it to the end and she created whatever that serum-y thing was and then she sort of saved it by doing an act of martyrdom at the end and there was a whole like, she was evil but then she tries to be good at the end situation. It was a better part.”
Now that could have been a very interesting and full progression for a villain arc! Hansen creates Extremis for good, but winds up going down a darker path before realizing the error of her ways and trying to fix her mistakes. Instead, we had one character’s experiences and qualities divided into two thin characters, with the villain following a fairly traditional evil trajectory. Again, I do enjoy what we wound up getting from Iron Man 3, but clearly it could have been better.
There’s no going back now though and fortunately, there’s a lot of Rebecca Hall to look forward to! Keep an eye out for my full chat with Hall on Tales from the Loop coming to Collider soon. This also seems like a good time to remind you that Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is streaming on Hulu right now and features yet another must-see performance from Hall.