Shang-Chi producer Jonathan Schwartz recently detailed that viewers should not expect a comic book accurate Mandarin.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Schwartz discussed the upcoming Shang-Chi film as Marvel Studios debuted the film’s first trailer and poster.
Entertainment Weekly prefaced the discussion describing that the film’s main villain, Wenwu, played by Tony Leung, “is a new character, created entirely for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
EW describes him as Shang-Chi’s father and “a powerful, ancient figure who trained his son to follow in his criminal footsteps.”
However, Shang-Chi walked away from his father’s life after discovering his criminal behavior. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige explained, “This is not a ‘Luke, I am your father’ twist.”
“He knows who his father is, and he’s decided to leave that world behind before he’s pulled back into it,” Feige added.
While Wenwu is a new character, Schwartz and Feige told EW that the character has “gone by many names.” One of those names is the Mandarin.
The Mandarin was first name-dropped in Iron Man 3, but would later be revealed as a character actor named Trevor Slattery that had been hired by Aldrich Killian.
However, Marvel would eventually release a short titled “All Hail The King” that eventually revealed the real Mandarin did indeed exist in The Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, this new character will apparently use the villain’s name.
Schwartz would go on to explain that Leung’s Wenwu will not be The Mandarin people expect from the comic books.
He stated, “I think people hear ‘the Mandarin’ and expect a very specific kind of thing, and that may not be the thing they’re getting.”
“They’re hopefully getting a more complex and layered take on the character than that name would lead you to,” he added.
Director Daniel Destin Cretton would elaborate on the character’s complexity stating, “A character like Wenwu could have easily been a one-dimensional villain with no heart.”
He added, “Tony opened this character up [so] this is an antagonist who has a deep ability to love.”
Honestly, it sounds like they are just doing Thanos and Gamora all over again just with Wenwu and Shang-Chi.
Then to add in some nostalgia bait, they decided to have Wenwu use the name Mandarin.
In the comics, The Mandarin has been a long-time foe of Tony Stark and Iron Man.
He was originally introduced in Tales of Suspense #50 back in 1964, where not only was he a match for Iron Man’s strengths with his rings, but Stark even described him as the “brainiest enemy” he’d ever faced!
In his original introduction, written by Stan Lee, The Mandarin is described as the “most mysterious, the most feared oriental of all time! Some claim he has lived for many centuries! Others claim he is far more than human! But none knows the real origin, the true power of the evil genius of the East–The Dreaded Mandarin!!”
What do you make of Schwartz’s comments that fans should not expect to see a comic accurate Mandarin in the film?