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Is Marvel Planning to Reveal the ‘Real’ Mandarin?

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.


  • NeronWillRise

    “Would Marvel really use a short film to redirect such a pivotal plot point from one of its highest-grossing blockbusters?”

    Redirect? It happened how it happened. This is just an elaboration on the story.

    I’d always assumed there was a real Mandarin out there somewhere.

  • VBartilucci

    In the Lego Marvel game, Mandarin appears with Killian, and seems to be much more than a mere Scouse git. So perhaps we’ve already SEEN the “Real” Mandarin, in Lego form?

  • Steven Simmons

    Yeah, I figure it is a short to be included on the Thor 2 BD release. I have always said this would be a great way to redeem that character, being he was really in charge the whole time or something.

  • uatu13

    I hope they do something to redeem the crap-pile that was IM3!

  • Drew_Melbourne

    Anybody else think it’s weird that the Iron Man “Marvel One Shot” is Cap themed (with Peggy Carter) and the Thor MOS is (apparently) Iron Man themed? I can only assume that the one of the Cap Blu Ray will be 10 minutes of Kat Dennings doing stand up??

  • Tim

    Honestly, I liked the way he was portrayed…it was an interesting switch…

    I’m more interested in knowing when we get a diaper wearing Fin Fang Foom?

  • Kabuce

    I’ll be revealed that the Trevor Slattery character was an act when SHIELD finds the real Trevor has been dead for years. The Mandarin would have fooled the world into believing he didn’t exist so he could escape and plot again…

  • Rock

    I still think that it would have been incredible to have Kingsley pull a Keyser Soze, and reveal, once he’d been set free on bail as nothing more than a bumbling oaf and no real harm, to reveal that “Trevor” was an act as well.

  • Dave Lawyer

    I agree! That was ridiculous how they did that…..

  • ChadVanHalen

    I’d love to see something like a Mandarin reveal in Agents of SHIELD, but I doubt they’d get Sir Ben Kingsley to do a TV show

  • demoncat_4

    if marvel can still find a way where the Madarins if they use the short as revealing him truely not wind up still a racial sterotype . for after all why would trevor and killian be hired in iron man three if the real Mandarin was not behind the scenes and in the shadows waiting to strike now that his puppets did the dirty work.

  • Es

    Under more modern portrayals Mandarin has nothing offensive unless your looking to be offended

  • Ren

    I believe we saw the real Mandarine in Iron Man 3, and all along he played everyone including Tony Stark

  • theBalkan

    Remember Trevor said they gave him plastic surgery? Why would they do that if he was a nobody, unless they wanted him to look like someone that already exists.

  • DarthTigris

    One can only hope. It’d be a nice acknowledgment that they made a mistake with the handling of the character in IM3 and would increase my faith in the future of the MCU.

  • The Stone

    Killian is the real mandarin, he says “I AM THE MANDARIN” right before Pepper kills him when hes all fiery. It makes sense that he would survive, hold a grudge and adopt the alias since everyone thinks hes dead. He also breathed fire in the film which is pretty ‘Mandarin-ish’ if you ask me.

  • Kaine Morrison

    The “real” Mandarin better be the leader of the Ten Rings that was in Iron Man 1!!!

  • DialZforZero

    This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. When they showed the news footage of “Trevor” being carted away, he had an evil look in his eyes.

  • Steven O’Neill

    Keyser Soze!

  • Max Steel

    Here’s an idea:

    Kill Trevor and bring it to the real chinese Mandarin!

    end of story

  • Happily LS

    Nah, that’s just Marvel shrewdly typing the universe together. Those one-shots probably cost about as much as an expensive commercial, but are 100 times more effective as advertising.

  • JMoney

    It was a shame to see the franchise wipe their butt with what was at one time Iron Man’s greatest nemesis. That pretty much ruined the movie for any real fan who read the comics. Killian (I’m a wanna-be-bad-guy-human-torch) was a really lame villain. Also the part with the 40 suits battling “heat villains” was just embarassing and laughable. There was nothing at stake. So what if an empty suit gets smashed, nobody dies. What would have been interesting about the Mandarin is it’s Eastern Culture vs. West. Mysticism vs. Technology.

    Unfortunatly I think they probably chickened out and there wasn’t a really good way to showcase the Mandarin and his power rings without being totally cheesy on the screen. It was the same as the re-imagined Galactus in the Fantastic 4 sequel. A giant purple suited guy would have been cheesy to the max, even though it’s what we’re used to in the comics.

  • JMoney

    If anything, as opposed to a short film, they would probably want to incorperate it into Agents of Sheild, if only to tie it to the movies and bring the ratings up. So far AOS has been rather disappointing.

  • JMoney

    IM3 was such a dog of a movie. Unfortunately, even though it was pretty much panned by critics and IM fans alike, it grossed big bucks at the box office, so Marvel isn’t exaclty motivated to do the Mandarin character justice. Killian was the lamest villain ever.

  • JMoney

    That could explain a lot, maybe they were afraid of having an asian/ethnic villain for fear of pushback and someone saying it’s offensive or racist?

  • Ronnie James Dio

    oh hell yea !