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Fans are eagerly awaiting Academy Award winning actor Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Iron Man villain The Mandarin in the upcoming third installment of the Marvel superhero’s film franchise. However, they shouldn’t expect a performance that’s 100% loyal to the source material.

Kingsley recently explained to Total Film that he has not read, nor does he have any intention to read the comics:

“I didn’t have any template to copy. I’m undereducated as far as Marvel comics are concerned, and that can be a good thing, like coming to a Shakespeare play fresh rather than having done it 20 times… [It’s a] human portrayal of evil, on a grand scale. [Mandarin] released demonic layers in me…I did go a little crazy!”

It would appear, then, that the decision to not base his characterization on Marvel canon was made not out of laziness or pride, but out of a sincere desire to come at the character from a fresh perspective, as opposed to merely aping the Mandarin of the comics. We’re looking forward to what Sir Ben came up with come this May.

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In other Iron Man news, Terence Howard has revealed why he didn’t reprise his role as Tony Stark’s best friend: Lt. Col. James “Rhodie” Rhodes. Apparently the studio always wanted Don Cheadle, and when they had a shot at getting him, they gave Howard a deal that no self-respecting actor would accept: $1 million for the sequel, instead of the $8 million that was expected.

It sounds like a bit of a dick move, but according to Total Film, Howard took it surprisingly well, and bears the studio no ill will:

“I didn’t know it wasn’t a mutually binding contract; it was only beneficial for them and they could bring me back or not. They can honor it or not. And you know they made a great deal, Don (Cheadle) and Robert (Downey Jr.) they get along well. But the best thing that happened as a result of it, I went back to school and finished and got my doctorate in chemical engineering. And now I have a company where we grow diamonds. That’s going to replace the silicon in computers; that’s going to replace all gemstones. So, if that hadn’t happened, I would never have gone back [to school].”

And finally, here’s the newest IM3 trailer, brought to you by the good people at TCL, who also coincidentally happen to have made all those televisions:

Sources: BlastrTotal Film and Cinemablend

 

Category: Comics, Film

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