In 2013's Iron Man 3, Rebecca Hall portrayed Dr. Maya Hansen, a skilled biologist who created the dangerously unstable serum known as extremis. She also happened to be an old fling of Tony Stark's. The role, however, was not what Hall had signed on for. She was, in fact, meant to play the villain of the piece,but that element went instead to Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian. The order to rewrite the Maya Hansen character came from Marvel CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, who still had control over the motion picture side of the company. Perlmutter's reasoning for this move is that toys for the villain would not sell as well if they were female.
Collider recently had the opporunity to sit down with Hall during the press tour for her new Amazon series, Tales From the Loop. She offered up some recollections of how the role was originally going to play out.
“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.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
While she didn't go into intense detail, the character that Hall describes certainly sounds more compelling than the one audiences were presented with in the finished version of Iron Man 3. When watching the film, Maya almost seems like an afterthought at points, which is definitely a disservice to Rebecca Hall.
It is very likely that Perlmutter-led decisions like this one are what led to him being removed from having any power over Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the rest of the studios' executives. This, in turn, resulted in the disbanding of the infamous Marvel Creative Committee, which was also responsible for some early misteps at the studio.