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Warning: If you still haven’t seen Iron Man 3, you should know this story contains spoilers.
The Mandarin was a major factor in Iron Man 3, but not in the way that anybody expected. Ben Kingsley was cast in the role of Tony Stark’s longtime nemesis, but over the course of the Marvel sequel, it was revealed his character wasn’t actually the Mandarin at all, but instead a washed-up actor named Trevor playing the Mandarin part on orders from super-terrorist Aldrich Killian.
It was an interesting interpretation of the Silver Age villain, but perhaps not the definitive take some fans were hoping to see. But there’s still hope: According to Latino Review, there’s a Marvel One Shot in the works centered on “the REAL Mandarin.”
“According to sources, Marvel wants to make [the Mandarin reveal] up to fans so in the one shot, the REAL Mandarin is furious with Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley’s character Trevor Slattery for the mockery they made of the real Mandarin’s identity and legacy,” the website reports. “The real Mandarin wants to set the record straight.”
The report raises more than a few red flags. Would Marvel really use a short film to redirect such a pivotal plot point from one of its highest-grossing blockbusters? I suppose you could argue the studio did a version of that by resurrecting Agent Coulson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., after killing him in The Avengers. Still something smells fishy about “the REAL Mandarin.” I expect there’s truth to the report — after all, Kingsley recently revealed he filmed a secret Marvel project — but I don’t think we’ll get a “REAL Mandarin,” unless it’s just another one of Trevor’s legendary performances.