“Iron Man 3” featured one of the oldest villains from Marvel comics, only to completely subvert expectations with the hilarious reveal that he was actually a fraud. But according to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, the real thing might soon be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We’re talking of course about The Mandarin. Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck back in 1964 in “Tales of Suspense,” in the comics he’s a descendant of Genghis Khan and a member of one of pre-communist China’s richest families. Raised from birth to be an amazing warrior and scientist, he creates 10 rings made from re-purposed alien technology that give him superpowers. Naturally, he wants to take over the world, and Iron Man is one of his biggest obstacles to achieving that goal.
In the movies, things are of course completely different. Ten Rings is the name of a terrorist organization, not magical jewelry. They’re first seen in “Iron Man” as the group that kidnaps Tony Stark. They appear to return in “Iron Man 3,” led this time by a mysterious figure called The Mandarin (played by Ben Kingsley), who takes credit for a series of terrorist bombings.
However, it’s revealed late in the film that The Mandarin is actually a drug-addled actor named Trevor Slattery, hired by the film’s true villain as a distraction from the actual villainous plan. That would appear to be that –except Marvel had one more twist up its sleeve. In a short included on the “Thor: The Dark World” home video release called “All Hail the King,” we catch up with Slattery, who was sent to prison for his actions, where he learns there really is a Mandarin, and that he is not happy to have been impersonated.
Skip ahead to today, where in a Reddit AMA Wednesday morning, a fan asked Feige: “Are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first ‘Iron Man,’ or the ‘real’ Mandarin teased in ‘All Hail the King’ in the future?”
Feige’s response: “Yes.”
Now, note that the Marvel Studios president gave a single “yes” to a question with two parts, so we can’t say for sure if he means Marvel has plans for either the Ten Rings or The Mandarin, or both. We’ll leave it to you to speculate.
But we will add this: We’re huge fans of the Trevor Slattery twist, so here’s hoping if Marvel introduces the real Mandarin, it brings back Kingsley, too.