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Poor Jon Favreau. Not only did Shane Black usurp him from his role as Iron Man 3's director, but his character in the franchise, Happy Hogan, was also supposed to die during his confrontation with James Badge Dale’s Savin. And I thought Marvel was supposed to be Hollywood’s happy-go-lucky studio.
Of course the reality is that Favreau actually decided to opt out of Iron Man 3 to try and get Magic Kingdom into production instead. But that still doesn’t forgive Marvel Studios for trying to take their revenge out on his beloved Iron Man character. According to Comic Book Movie Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, who was appointed as Stark Industries’ overly vigilant head of securities for Iron Man 3, would have met his demise after following Savin to the Chinese theater in Los Angeles.
Earlier in the film Happy had some concerns with the man that Savin protected, Aldrich Killian, which were exacerbated after Guy Pearce’s scientist had met with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. Outside the Chinese Theater Happy sees Savin deliver a briefcase full of Extremis to Ashley Hamilton’s Jack Taggart, and after a brief scuffle he’s even able to get his hands on a metal container possessing the virus. But this only leads to Happy and Savin having a further fight that proves the henchman can’t be injured and is then concluded when Taggart explodes because he has injected Extremis into his veins.
In the released version of Iron Man 3 Happy falls into a coma because of the injuries that he collects in the explosion. But new storyboards have revealed that the original plan was for him to perish. You can check them out here.
It was probably a wise decision Black's part to keep Happy alive. It added a nice pathos to Iron Man 3 that he was still alive and watching Downton Abbey after he’d woken up from his coma, while it would have probably led Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark to have turned into even more of an emotional wreck when giving his televised threat to the Mandarin if he had perished too. Plus, I feel there’s been an overabundance of funeral scenes in superhero films recently, and they really suck the air out when they’re deployed. The fewer the better I say.