May 30, 2012

Ben Kingsley Indeed Playing The Mandarin In 'IRON MAN 3' ?

We've been hearing lots of talk that Ben Kingsley is playing the villain The Mandarin in Iron Man 3. When it was first revealed Kingsley was in talks for the film it was immediately denied he was playing Stark's most recognizable baddie. Even when asked about his involvement during a red carpet event for The Dictator, Ben had no idea who his character was. Sources from Hong Kong and Singapore have been listing Kingsley as the Mandarin. It would make sense that Marvel's Chinese production partners could be less tight-lipped about the Iron Man 3 than Marvel and have been talking to the press to promote the movie. There is talk via ComicBookMovie coming from the set that Ben is indeed playing the ringed villain and will have twin henchmen who do most of his dirty work.

If Kingsley is playing The Mandarin he won't be straight out of the original comics. John Favreau had wanted to use him as the villain in Iron Man 2 but that was ultimately rejected by Marvel. He still held out hope that he'd be able to include him in the third film before he was replaced. Shane Black has stated that the villain was racist and had no plans to include him. However, they could always just use the name and completely change the character to fit the Extremis plot. It's possible he could make him a leader of the terrorist group Ten Rings which itself is a tease to the ten power rings Mandarin uses as weapons. Rings has been active in both of films, in the second they arranged Vanko's passport to get him to Monaco to face off with Stark on the race track.

A bulk of the production will be shooting in China (will be the setting for some of the film) which also gives the impression that he'll be involved. Yet, it's been reported by a Hong Kong paper that Mandarin won't have a Chinese background not insult the Asian audience. Marvel would also be including heroic Chinese characters including one played by Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) as a scientist friend of Tony. In Extremis, Mandarin plots to unleash the virus on the world population to even the playing-field. There are already two other villains (Coldblood/Firepower) in the film so it wouldn't hurt to see him without a suit/powers at least in this film.

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