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Along with the overnight debut of the first full-length trailer for Marvel’s Iron Man 3 arrives four new images from the Shane Black-directed sequel, as well as a much larger look at Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, whose oddly accented narration plays a central role in the footage.
If Iron Man’s archenemy looks like a Tolkien character and sounds like a Northeast Pennsylvania native — Entertainment Weekly describes the new take as “a hodgepodge of various warrior motifs” — it’s because Marvel wanted to “blur” the Mandarin’s traditional background (he began as a Fu Manchu pastiche, and while he’s been updated in the comic books, he’s remained Chinese.)
“It’s less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told EW. There’s undoubtedly a more pragmatic reason for the decision, as Iron Man 3 is co-financed by DMG Entertainment of Beijing, which will distribute the film in China, a major market for movies.
Opening May 3, 2013, the film stars returning cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau, joined by Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale and Ashley Hamilton.
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?