Hey! Remember that twist from Iron Man 3 that was offensive to you, your family, your country and your God, and by that I mean Stan Lee? You know the one I’m talking about. It involves The Mandarin as played by Sir Ben Kingsley. As I’m sure you know, the subject of the Marvel Studios One-Shot that’s to be included in the upcoming Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World is Kingsley’s Mandarin, and the short’s writer and Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce wants you to know that there’s a story detail that’s not an apology and it’s not re-writing history either. If you want to know what he means, I assume you know how Iron Man 3 turned out, and if you don’t, beware of spoilers below.
If you’re still reading than I assume you know that Kingsley’s Mandarin was really an actor named Trevor Slattery, a public face for the evil deeds perpetrated by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). The well-hidden twist perturbed a great number of fans who felt they were cheated out of seeing a real, genuine Mandarin on screen, but according to Pearce in a new interview with Voices From Krypton, one of his goals with All Hail the King was to leave the door open for a, gasp, future appearance by the real Mandarin. He also wanted to make it clear to the audience that the existence of Slattery’s Mandarin didn’t preclude the possibility of another character with that name, and that was part of the consideration when they wrote that twist into Iron Man 3.
In other words…
“It’s weird. The idea for the short was there before any of the kind of storm in a teacup following our Mandarin reveal. What’s actually interesting as well is that the evidence of the “real” Mandarin is laid out in all of the Iron Man movies, as well as all the stuff we said around the release of the movie. The Ten Rings are part of Iron Man 1, they make an appearance in deleted scenes in Iron Man 2, and we’re very specific about the fact that he’s a real guy that exists in the world.
In fact, we talked about it a lot when the movie came out. There was always the sense that this term had been co-opted by Killian’s think tank. Obviously the events in the short made that even more explicit. The weird thing is I don’t have any regrets with what we did with Iron Man and I feel no reason to apologize for it. The short kind of let me join some dots that were already there. But it wasn’t the reason we did it. The reason we did it is that we wanted to play with Trevor Slattery some more…
Oh, yes, totally, but I would hate for anyone to think I was apologizing for a twist that I’m deeply proud of. I feel like it would have been dishonest to Iron man 3 if we’d made Trevor the real Mandarin after all and it was a double bluff. I think where the short leads to is a more exciting place and hopefully not one that betrays the intention of Iron Man 3.”
So will it work? You can decide for yourself when the short is released on the Blu-ray of Thor: The Dark World on February 25, 2014.