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Guy Pearce ‘Adored’ Mandarin Twist in ‘Iron Man 3′

It’s been more than a year since Iron Man 3 unmasked the Mandarin — which is to say, there wasn’t really a Mandarin, not in the traditional sense, at least.

The film revealed that Ben Kingsley’s “Mandarin” was nothing more than a washed-up actor serving as a mouthpiece for Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian and his Extremis operation. While some fans took issue with the twist, Pearce remains excited about it.

“Personally, I loved it,” he told IGN during a recent interview for The Rover, his new Australian thriller. “I was never a comic book fan growing up, so I have no attachment to the [Mandarin]. I mean, I get it. The loyalty to those characters, I totally get it.”

“But based on the sort of single-entity movie — and particularly based on Ben Kingsley’s performance — I just adored what that turned into,” he continued. “But I do certainly understand that some die hard fans kind of went, ‘Aww … Come on!'”

(via Dark Horizons)


  • Joe Nobody

    I was kind of Meh about it… but then the bonus feature on Thor: The Dark World totally redeemed it.

  • Will M.

    I loved the twist. And, even before the One Shot, I wouldn’t say it’s totally fair to say the twist meant there was “no Mandarin” or that the threat was undermined. On the contrary, instead of the Mandarin being a *person* as originally presented with fairly clear, stock “villain” motivations, the Mandarin in IM3 was actually an *idea,* still powerful and representative of a real threat, but with a more cunning purpose that actually played on the world’s willingness to accept such a transparent villain at face value. It’s not that the comic Mandarin isn’t “realistic” enough, it’s that the Iron Man movies are smart enough that the movie version of Tony’s ultimate nemesis wouldn’t be dangerous simply from magic rings or command of a lot of terrorists, but something entirely more Machiavellian. When the movie seems like it’s heading towards a perfunctory battle with an external force, it swerves and gives us something more derived from Tony’s arc in the movie and the trilogy – something more IRON MAN. Plus the One Shot lets us think there’s still a “real Mandarin” out there who’s more complex than the Kingsley Mandarin we briefly would have settled for.

  • KraziJoe

    I still feel the fake Mandarin is the real Mandarin.

  • Mr November

    I suppose it could of worked better if ben kingsley wasn’t in the movie and it was all just guy piece as the melter/killian. both pearce and kingsley ultimately where wasted in the film.

    I didn’t have anything against the idea, just the poor execution and in the grant scheme of the film poorly justified plot twist. The sudden change in tone, the forced humour, the poor character development, they just didn’t justify the lame execution of the plot twist. Ironman 3 was a terrible film.

  • Travis

    The only real problem with it was that the Mandarin fake out made this the third movie in a row where the villain is one of Stark’s corporate rivals.

  • joe89

    It’s a twist that has been done to death. I mean, most recently it had just been done in not one but TWO of the last Batman movies. So it just smacks of lazy writing, which isn’t really something you expect from Shane Black.

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  • Kevin Reynart

    How could he love that stupid Mandarin plot twist in Iron Man 3?! The Mandarin twist was one of the worst and dumbest plot twists in film history. Well at least there’s still a “real” Mandarin out there in the MCU because of the Marvel one-shot All Hail the King. I hope the ‘real’ Mandarin becomes the villain in Iron Man 4.