Film fans have taken to Twitter to express their disgust following claims that Marvel canned the idea of a female villain in Iron Man 3.
The 2013 film's writer and director Shane Black told Uproxx that originally a lady was set to play the main baddie in the movie, which stars Robert Downey Jr as the hero.
However, studio head honchos were apparently worried that merchandise featuring a female wouldn't sell as well.
Shane said: "The plot went this way and that way. Stephanie Szostak's character was bigger at one point and we reduced it. Rebecca Hall's character was bigger at one point and we reduced it."
When asked why, he responded: "All I'll say is this, on the record - 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.
"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."
He insisted the decision was down to "Marvel corporate" and that things are different there now.
But movie fans have revealed they are horrified.
Hearing that Shane Black's female villain in Iron Man 3 was rejected due to toy sales is nuts. It's time for us to get out of the dark ages
-- Amirose Eisenbach (@Amirosie) May 16, 2016
Sexism in Hollywood still exists. Sad. #Marvel said no to a female villain in Ironman 3 because that wouldn't sell toys. Ridiculous.
-- Felipe Dumas Varon (@PhoeboBuffay) May 16, 2016
-- Brooks Sligh (@ninjasuperspy) May 16, 2016
-- Mere Smith (@EvilGalProds) May 16, 2016
Holy crap, they changed the villain of 'Iron Man 3' because Marvel corporate was worried about toy sales. https://t.co/WXYPdMyvN7
-- Chris Manning (@cwmwrites) May 16, 2016
-- Dusty Primrose (@DustyPrimrose) May 16, 2016