Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed during a a Reddit AMA that there are plans for the “real” Mandarin to make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
He was asked, without going into details about developing projects, “are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man, or the “real” Mandarin teased in “All Hail the King” in the future?”
Feige’s cryptic response? “Yes.”
Explored, but not Mentioned
Marvel Studios released All Hail the King as a one shot in 2013. It teases a real, shadowy Mandarin figure and the return of the Ten Rings. The one shot was produced after much criticism about Aldrich Killian being the Mandarin instead of Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery. Since then the Mandarin, nor the Ten Rings, has been featured in any MCU movies, but according to recent rumors, he may appear in the upcoming Shang-Chi movie. The recent MCU movies have focused on the long-standing arc about Thanos and the Infity Stones. Post-Endgame, Phase 4 could re-introduce this villain, especially considering he was acknowledged, then promptly ignored after the release of All Hail the King.
Destin Daniel Cretton has been tapped to direct the upcoming movie. No dates have been indicated, but rumors indicate this movie could debut as early as 2020 or 2021. Shang-Chi is set to modernize the character and story arc. One popular theory is that the real Mandarin could replace Fu Manchu as Shang-Chi’s father. In the comics, Fu Manchu is the leader of a global terrorist network. This unknown Mandarin figure could easily be used the same way. The original story line also has Shang-Chi believing his father isn’t evil, before discovering the truth. With the Mandarin, Cretton can stick to the source material as much as possible. If the ‘real’ Mandarin has convinced the world he doesn’t exist, it’s possible that his son is unaware of his true nature. It is also a chance for Marvel to update the Mandarin after backlash on how the character has been portrayed, with some people calling it racist.
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