May 16, 2019
The Real Mandarin Will Show Up At Some Point in the MCU, Kevin Feige Confirms
In the 11 years since it launched itself onto the scene and changed Hollywood as we know it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone through major changes, with some elements and characters from early films left to the dust. But as we move into a greater unknown Phase of the MCU, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige hints that we may see some familiar villains crop up again. That includes one villain who many fans feel never got his fair shake: The Mandarin.
After a fraudulent version was introduced in Iron Man 3, fans have been clamoring for the real Mandarin to show his face in the MCU. And Feige has confirmed that this will happen — at some point in the future.
Kevin Feige held a Reddit AMA on Wednesday answering everything from his plans for the future of the Marvel films to his favorite MCU moment. In response to a question asking if there were any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings or The Mandarin into future Marvel titles, Kevin Feige simply responded, “Yes.”
If you remember the events of Iron Man 3, a version of The Mandarin appeared in the film, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. But partway through the film, it was revealed that Kingsley’s Mandarin was a fraud — his real name was Trevor Slattery, and he was a drunken British character actor hired by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to adopt a terrorist persona in order to mask Alrich’s illegal human experiments.
But the character was never really put to bed: In a Marvel One Shot released on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray, Slattery comes face-to-face with the Real Mandarin in the high-security prison — and he’s not happy with the way that Slattery has been brandishing his fame.
Feige has essentially confirmed that this One Shot is canon, with the real Mandarin lying in wait to strike. But as an archenemy of Iron Man, who could he battle against? Fans theorize that the real Mandarin could show up in Marvel’s upcoming first Asian-led superhero movie, Shang-Chi. The real Mandarin is even rumored to be Shang-Chi’s father. It would be a fitting film in which the genius scientist and a superhumanly skilled martial artist would make his debut. And the terrorist organization with which he’s frequently associated, The Ten Rings (their name a play off of the ten magical rings which grant the Mandarin powers in the comics), could show up in Shang-Chi as well after they first made in impression in Iron Man.
But still, the Mandarin could prove a difficult character for Marvel to navigate, as the original Mandarin was an orientalist caricature created in the ’60s and best left in that era. Fans may have been disappointed with the outcome of Iron Man 3, but the film presented a brilliant deconstruction of the character and all the stereotypes that have become associated with terrorists. I reserve judgment on this offensive character for now, but hopefully Marvel could approach the real Mandarin with some sensitivity.
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