Back when Iron Man 3 came out, people were super excited about Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of one of Marvel Comics’ most powerful and terrifying villains. The trailer painted The Mandarin as a terrorist with a wide reach, attacking Tony Stark’s home head on and even getting his hands on high ranking government officials. If you’ve seen Iron Man 3, however, you know people were very upset to find out that Ben Kingsley’s character was simply a British actor named Trevor who was hired by Aldrich Killian to play an all-powerful villain on camera. He was to be the face of the operation while Killian committed all of the true acts of terror.
This led to an angry uproar from fans who felt that the movie, despite being pretty well received overall, soiled the image of the real Mandarin of the comics. Shortly after, Marvel released a One-Shot called All Hail The King. Marvel previously used these one-shots as little short films that tied up lingering questions left unanswered by the films themselves. These are all said to be canon to the MCU. Here is a clip:
A documentarian goes to interview Trevor about his involvement in the faking of the Mandarin. However, the film takes a turn when you realize this documentarian is actually a member of the 10 Rings. An extremist organization that is run by the actual Mandarin that Aldrich Killian based his fake Mandarin on. You may remember the 10 Rings as the organization that kept Stark in the cave where he was tortured back in the first Iron Man. The interviewer, played by Scott McNairy, kills Trevor and basically alludes to the fact that the real Mandarin is aware of this false use of his name.
Many people figured this was nothing more than a quick fix and an apology for the subverted expectations of the character in Iron Man 3. That being said, MCU leader Kevin Feige recently did a Reddit AMA in which he confirmed that the 10 Rings and the actual Mandarin will in fact be revisited in the future of the MCU. With all of that said, Shang-Chi is supposedly the new secret Marvel film that begins production in Australia this Fall. Casting call leaks read that they are searching for an older, Asian statesman for an important role. Many believe that this may be them casting the real Mandarin, who was Asian in the comics.
No official word has been given on the film, but with Feige’s confirmation it seems like it is underway. Thanos is out of the way now, why not bring in the mad scientist?
What did you think of Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin? Are you looking forward to Shang-Chi?