Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently explained why the production company never incorporated the real Mandarin into an Iron Man film.
Feige spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about the Mandarin’s influence in the upcoming film and gave a reason as to why he was never used in an Iron Man movie.
The Marvel boss first explained how the Shang-Chi film connects to Iron Man.
He said, “That’s what’s fun about the MCU at this stage. We can do something like Shang-Chi, introducing a brand new hero into the MCU and into the world at large. But that subtitle, The Legend of the Ten Rings, actually connects it back to the very beginning of the MCU, the Ten Rings being the organization that kidnapped Tony Stark at the very beginning of Iron Man one. And that organization was inspired by a character called the Mandarin in the comics.”
If you recall, they did reference the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, but it was eventually revealed that the character was only the creation of Killian’s think tank and the man playing the Mandarin was an actor named Trevor Slattery who had been pulled off the street.
However, Marvel Studios would release a short titled All Hail The King that would confirm that the Ten Rings are associated with The Mandarin.
The short even describes the Mandarin as a “warrior king [who] inspired generations of men through the middle ages, perhaps even further back in time.”
Not only that, but it also revealed that Slattery is going to meet the Mandarin after he’s broken out of prison by the Ten Rings terrorist organization.
As for why the Mandarin did not actually make an appearance in an Iron Man film, Feige explained, “And going back to Iron Man one: We’ve been talking about that when we do bring this character to the screen, [we] only wanted to do it when we felt we could do it supreme justice and really showcase the complexity of this character, which frankly we couldn’t do in an Iron Man movie because an Iron Man movie is about Iron Man; an Iron Man movie is about Tony Stark.”
He continued, “So [Iron Man 3 director] Shane Black, in his film and his script that he co-wrote, came up with this fun twist that we love to this day, and it turned out to be Trevor Slattery.”
However, Feige then details that the Shang-Chi film will introduce the leader of the Ten Rings organization. However, he does not specifically refer to him as The Mandarin.
Feige says, “Just because that version wasn’t real didn’t mean there’s not a leader of the Ten Rings organization, and that is who we meet for the first time in Shang-Chi.”
In fact, it’s more than likely the Mandarin will not be showing up in Shang-Chi either. Instead, it will be a name that is used by Shang-Chi’s father Wenwu, a new character created for the film that appears to be an amalgamation of the Mandarin and Shang-Chi’s father in the comics, Fu Manchu.
Shang-Chi producer Jonathan Schwartz revealed to Entertainment Weekly back in April that Wenwu has “gone by many names” and that one of the names is “the Mandarin.”
Schwartz went on to state, “I think people hear ‘the Mandarin’ and expect a very specific kind of thing, and that may not be the thing they’re getting.”
He added, “They’re hopefully getting a more complex and layered take on the character than that name would lead you to.”
Aside from explaining why they never introduced the Mandarin in an Iron Man film and why the character seemingly won’t be showing up in Shang-Chi, Feige did confirm that Abomination is indeed fighting Wong in the final scene of the most recent trailer for the film.
He stated, “Yes, we just recently released the final trailer for Shang-Chi. Some fans said, ‘This looks like a character they hadn’t seen in many years named The Abomination, fighting a character that looks like Wong. And I can say that the reason it looks like that is because that is Abomination fighting Wong.”
Feige went on to add, “[It’s] a fun thing to have a character that we haven’t had on screen in over a decade show up again in the MCU. And to see fans on that little tag of the trailer recognize that and embrace that is great fun.”
What do you make of Feige’s explanation regarding the Mandarin? What about the confirmation that Wong is fighting Abomination?