Marvel fans will definitely meet the Mandarin, for REAL this time, in 2021 when prolific Hong Kong actor Tony Leung stars as the comic book villain in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Hardly any fan can say they saw the Mandarin’s “return” to the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming, and that includes Drew Pearce, writer of Iron Man 3 and director of the epilogue short film All Hail the King.
“I’d be lying if I said I knew there was a grand plan, and I would be surprised if there had been a plan,” Pearce told the site.
Ahead of Pearce’s latest project, the screenplay for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, he reflected on the Mandarin, a villain he reimagined in 2013’s Iron Man 3 and his unexpected return in Shang-Chi.
Back in 2013, Marvel surprised fans when the Mandarin, Tony Stark’s nemesis in Iron Man 3 who was an Indochinese terrorist and leader of an ancient cult called the “Ten Rings,” was revealed to be a phony. Instead, he was a very drunk actor, Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), who was hired by Stark’s corporate rival Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to threaten Iron Man.
On the Blu-ray edition of Thor: The Dark World released a few months after Iron Man 3, Marvel included the short film All Hail the King. Directed by Pearce, the film revealed the Mandarin IS real, and wasn’t happy Trevor mocked his name and legacy in front of the world.